Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
John and Katrin Spear, with their son, Robert, came from Londonderry, in the north of Ireland, soon after the siege of that capital and seaport town in 1689. Ireland had been the battleground of the last and most severe struggle between the Protestants, championed by William the Prince of Orange, King William III, and the fallen Roman Catholic King, James II, who as a last resort had placed the government of Ireland entirely in Catholic hands with the exception of Londonderry and Enniskillen, whose walls sheltered the remnant of Englishmen and Scotch (Scottish!) Protestants, seven thousand stong, who had declared for William and Mary and decided to meet their fate like brave men inside the walls of these strong towns. James II, with one-half of the disorderly army of the Earl of Tyrconnel, fifty thousand strong, armed chiefly with clubs, laid siege to Londonderry and the siege lasted ne hundred and five days. Multitudes of the besieged died of hunger, but the living continued the cry of No surrender." Reduced to two days rations, hope had almsot fled when an English ship broke through the boom stretched across the river Foyle and brought relief to the heroic garrison and starving inhabitants. This was July 28, 1689, and whereupon the Irish army under James II raised the siege and retreated to Dublin, where the fallen Stuart King lay helpless in the hands of the frenzied Catholics.
(I) John Spear, his wife, Katrin, and their son Robert, probably the youngest of their children, settled in Woburn, the others settling elsewhere; two it is presumed went to Virginia and one to Cape Cod. The father and mother continued to live in Woburn during the remainder of their lives, the mother dying Nov. 30, 1775, when she was ninety-six years of age, and had been a widow many years.
(II) Robert, probably youngest son of John and Katrin Spear, was born in Londonderry, Ireland in Sept., 1714. He came to Wolburn, Mass. Bay Colony, with his parents, and lived there up to 1736, when he joined the company of Scotch Presbyterians who had decided to form a settlemtne on the St. George's river on the coast of Maine, which became the town of Warren, Nov. 7, 1776, but was then only a trading post belonging to the Waldo patent.
The two children of Robert and Margaret (McLean) Turk Spear were:
Captain John (q.v.).
Catherine, who married Robert Matthews and settled in Warren, Maine.
John McLean, grandfather of these children, was one of the first settlers on the St. George river, in 1735. Robert Spear died in Woburn, Mass., March 13, 1776.
(III) Captain John (2), eldest child of Robert and Margaret (McLean) Turk Spear, was born in the Upper Town of St. George in 1738. He married Agnes Lamb.
1. Robert, born Oct. 26, 1762; resided in Warren, and died there Sept. 19, 1852.
2. Thomas, born July 2, 1765 (q.v.).
3. Captain John (3), born 1767, married Rebecca Starrett, and died in Warren, Nov. 21, 1842.
4. Jane, born 1769; married Capt. William Starrett; lived in Warren, and died there Oct. 26, 1828.
5. Hugh, born 1771; married Elizabeth Bradford, and died in Warren June 22, 1846.
6. William, born 1772; married Margaret McIntyre, and lived in Warren, where he died Nov. 1, 1829.
7. Mary, born 1774; married Isaac Starrett, and died in Warren, July 11, 1848.
8. Isaac, born 1776; married Susan McIntyre; lived in Warren, where he died Oct. 6, 1856.
9. Capt. David, born 1778; married Nancy Farnsworth, and died in Warren, Nov. 1, 1842.
10. Edward, born 1779; married Nancy Leonard, and died in Warren, Maine, June 29, 1854.
11. Samuel, born Oct. 10, 1855, never married.
12. Alexander, born April 17, 1784; married Margaret Hoffses, April 24, 1812, and died in Warren, Feb. 23, 1842.
13. Agnes, married James F. Marston.
14. Infant, buried with its mother, who died May 2, 1791, aged forty-nine years.
Captain John married (second) Mrs. Mary Boggs, who bore him no children.
He erected his house on his father's original lot acquired in the first distribution of the land on forming the settlement of the Upper Town of St. George, which became Warren, and he died there June 10, 1811.
(IV) Thomas, second son of Capt. John (2) and Anges (Lamb) Spear, was born in Warren, Maine, July 2, 1765, lived in hiks native town, where he married Theodosia Vinal, Feb. 2, 1788, and (second) on March 11, 1827, Hannah Prior. He lived on the homestead in Warren, and died there March 31, 1833.
Children of 1st wife:
1. Paris, born May 10, 1790, died Aug. 30, 1811.
2. Mary, born Oct. 9, 1793; married Thomas Arnold, of Hope, Knox county, Maine, who died Aug. 22, 1848; she died in Warren, Maine, Oct. 11, 1865.
3. Lucy, born Oct. 23, 1794; married (first) William Barton, and (second) William H. Webb; she died in Warren, Maine Dec. 27, 1834.
5. [trans note: The number '4' seems to have been passed over]. Thomas (2), born Sept. 9, 1798; married Julia Andrews Dec. 25, 1823; lived in Camden, where he died Sept. 9, 1872.
6. Joseph, born Aug. 11, 1800; married Sarah M. Arnold, Dec. 21, 1828; resided on the homestead, and died there Sept. 29, 1874.
7. Francis, born Sept. 9, 1802; married Mary Andrews, Sept. 23, 1829, and (second) Mary J. (Cobb) Arnold.
8. William Hovey, born Nov. 27, 1804; married Martha M. Whiting, Dec. 25, 1828; resided in Camden.
9. James M. (q.v.)
10. Hannah W., born Nov. 22, 1809, married (first) John Andrews (2); lived in Warren, Maine, where she died May 19, 1848.
The mother of these children died Dec. 8, 1825, and by his second wife, Hannah Prior, he had no chldren.
(V) James M., fifth son and ninth child of Thomas and Theodosia (Vinal) Spear, was born in Warren, Knox county, Maine, Nov. 28, 1806. He married, Sept. 12, 1830, Nancy Cushman, a descendant from the Robert Cushman of Plymouth Colony, and he built a house on part of the home lot in Warren. He died Sept. 28, 1870.
Children, b. in Warren:
1. Hannah, b. Feb. 1, 1831; married Deacon John L. Stevens, and lived in Warren, Maine.
2. Pauline, b. Sept. 6, 1832; married Oscar E. McIntyre.
3. Ellis (q.v.).
4. Emily, b. Sept. 14, 1836; married Joseph Abbott in June, 1857, and lived in Rockland.
5. Daniel, b. Nov. 15, 1838, died Sept. 4, 1858.
6. Jason, b. July 7, 1840; was a soldier in the civil war.
7. Guilford, April 11, 1842; was a soldier in the civil war, and died at Bonne Carre, Louisiana, April 12, 1863.
(VI) Ellis, eldest son of James N. and Nancy (Cushman) Spear, was born in Warren, Maine, Oct. 15, 1834. He was brought up on a New England farm, with its abundance of fresh air and hard work, and thus laid a foundation for an iron constitution that stood well by him in the strenuous life that he led in his country's service both military and civil. His ancestors had been equally hardy farmers, lumbermen, shipbuilders and mariners. His six days hard work and attendance at the kirk and Sunday school on the Lord's day fully carried out the interpretation of the Scotch Presbyterian catechism when it asks the question: "What is the chief end of man?" the accepted answer being: "To work hard six days in the week and go to church on Sunday," which to their devout minds covered the answer, printed in the catechism: "To glorify God and enjoy Him forever."
His inherited sound constitution, fortified by his boyhood out-door work six days a week, made it possible to study by candlelight each day, and this self-instruction, augmented by the imperfect school training furnished by the efforts of the underpaid teachers of the waning days of the imperfectly endowed old State Academy at Warren, prepared him for matriculation at Bowdoin College. He was graduated with honro at Bowdoin in 1858, and in order to pay back the money advanced by his father and friends he taught school continuously 1858-62.
The civil war appealed to his patriotic spirit and as soon as his debt for college privileges had been paid he raised a company of volunteers in the town where he was teaching, and entered the volunteer service in 1862 as captain of Company G, Twentieth Maine Volunteer Infantry, and served in the field about three years, rising by successive promotions to the rank of colonel and brigadier-general by brevet. He commanded the regiment the greater part of the time from Sept., 1863, to the close of the war, temporarily serving also in 1864 and 1865 in command of the brigade to which his regiment was assigned. He was brevetted in Oct., 1864, for "gallant and distinguished service" while in command of the brigade at the battle of Peebles Farm, Sept. 30, 1864, and twice subsequently, and was commended in official reports for efficient services at the battle of Five Forks, April 12, 1865.
At the close of the war he entered the U. S. Patent Office as a clerk, assigned to duty as assistant examiner. He was promoted successively to the grade of second and first assistant, and in 1869 was made principal examiner. He was appointed by President Grant examiner-in-chief, in 1872, and assistant commissioner of patents in 1874. He resigned that office in 1876, and became a member of the law firm of Hill, Ellsworth & Spear, but a few months later was appointed by the same authority commissioner of patents, which office he resigned in 1878 and entered upon the practice of his profession, making a specialty of patent law. He was admitted to the bar of the supreme court of the District of Columbia, and has lived in Washington forty years.
He has been interested in the affairs of the District, has been a director of the Board of Trade many years; served as trustee of the public schools; was many years president of the Society of the Mount Pleasant Congregational church, has been commander of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the District of Columbia, president of the Maine State Association, and president of the Patent Law Association of the District of Columbia. He served as chairman of the committee of parade of the G.A.R. Encampment of 1893, and chairman of the committee on medals and badges in the first and second inaugurations of President McKinely. He is vice-president of the Equitable Co-operative Building Association, and vice-president of the Washington Loan and Trust Association.
He married (first) Susie, daughter of the Rev. John Wilde. She died in 1872.
1. James M., who became associated with his father in the practice of law in Washington, D. C.
2. Julia M., became the wife of William F. Boyd, of Saguade, Colorado. He married (second) in 1875, Sarah F., widow of Maj. Samuel T. Keene, comrade of Colonel Spear in the army, and who was killed in the battle before Petersburg in 1864, while standing by his comrade's side.
The child of Sarah F. Keene by her first marriage was marion P., who became wife of Rev. Arthur M. Little, of Peoria, Illinois.
Children by 2d wife:
3. Edwin Ellis, born in 1877, an attorney-at-law in Boston, Mass.
4. Arthur Prince, b. in 1879; an artist in Boston.
These children were of the seventh generation from John Spear, the Woburn immigrant.
Many towns of Maine, like scores of others in New England and in western states, have been greatly enriched by the coming thither of members of the Spear family, for all have given evidence of the wonderful constructive ability which has characterized this family through long generations. This has not only meant the taking of stone and timber and making homes which have stood thousands of tempests, but the construction of ships, and of many articles of great utility from material in which others saw no value. Their farms have been made from shadowy forest belts, from boulder-strewn acres, and from stretches of prairie where the tall grass had long waves triumphantly. They have been pioneers in many states where their presence meant the building together of materials gathered from many communities and lands into a loyal and prosperous town or village, and they have wrought the same good work in older settlements where they found things in a more or less chaotic condition. They have helped many a youth in whom no one saw any hints of achievement, and older persons whose hopes were shattered, or where life's opportunities have been wasted, until these became honored members of society. The Spears have helped many struggling schools to gain a firm foothold in the places where they seemed to have been recklessly organized, and many churches have felt their helpful and building qualities in as marked a degree. In thousands of other lines of activity and successful growth the same shining story may be read. And the glory of this constructive work is that it has been done so quietly, without any accompaniments of "sounding brass and tinkling cymbals." This has enabled them to make records of the finest character in the schools, and as teachers, preachers, legislators, and helper in various municipal, capacities. Not a grain of time or strength has been wasted in noise, bickering and parades; all has gone into solid work for the good of lives and communities, which thus enriched the state in a marked degree.
(I) George Speere (Spere, Spear and Speare, in the old records) was made a freeman at Boston, Mass., May 29, 1644. He soon settled in that part of Braintree, Mass., which is now called Quincy. Here he built a home of great solidity, helped in scores of ways in making the town life strong and progressive, and reared a family in such a careful manner that its influence has been felt very widely in our country.
In his old age he removed to New Dartmouth, which is now known as Pemaquid, Maine, where he was probably killed by the Indians. "He was progenitor of that numerous race that settled in all parts of America." His wife Mary was a woman of noble and helpful character. One of his sons, Ebenezer, married Rachel Deering, and was great-grandfather of the Ebenezer Spear who was born at Braintree Jan. 12, 1750 and who died in Litchfield, Maine March 18, 1821, having first settled in Wells, Maine, and then removed to Litchfield about 1787. He was the ancestor of that large and influential line of descendants of which Maine has long been so justly proud.
(II) Robert (1), another son of George and Mary Speere or Spear, was one of the sturdiest pioneers at Brunswick, Maine. The date of his birth is given as 1682, and he was no doubt born in Braintree, and he lived to the good old age of eighty-one years. He settled at an early date a little to the west of where the old first church at Brunswick, Maine, stood. His neighbors were of such old historic families as Woodside, Dunning, Stanwood, Giveen, Vincent, &c. But he was one of the quiet, forceful leaders in all things pertaining to the building up of that community in all things that were sturdy and true. He was one of the leaders of the building of the first church at Brunswick, and his name is on the petition to have the town duly incorporated, and also appears on many other important documents of those early days.
His house was built with great skill and strength, and its fortifications of timber have often been described as the best that could be fashioned.
Though some of the early settlers left for fear of the Indians, Robert Spear was instrumental in helping hold together a goodly band of men and women by his earnest faith. His strong home saved the lives of many people. In 1727 we find that Robert Spear was a soldier in William Woodside's company for eighteen weeks and six days.
His wife is said to have been Mary Phinney, who died in 1781 at the age of eighty-five years.
Robert, William, and two daughters, one of whom married John Giveen, and the other marrying Robert Ross. The son William had at Brunswick in 1735 lots 14, 15, 18 and 23, and was marked by the constructive ability of his family along many lines. He was a selectman of Brunswick in 1755, and a valiant soldier in the companies of William Burns in 1746, Capt. David Dunning's alarm list in 1757, Capt. James Curtis' in 1775, and Capt. Nathaniel Larrabee's in 1776. He was a man of very helpful and energetic character.
(III) Robert (2), son of Robert (1) and Mary (Phinney) Spear, was born in 1716 and died in 1739. He was buried in the old first cemetery at Brunswick, in which town in 1738 he had lots 16, 17, 20, 21, 22. Though his life was a short one it was filled with kindly deeds. The maiden name of his wife and the list of his children has not been found. [trans note: if this is true how did they get the next part with Robert (3)?]
(IV) Robert (3), son of Robert (2) Spear, was born at Brunswick in 1733 and died Dec. 12, 1809. Besides owning land in Brunswick he bought a tract of land in the north part of Harpswell at an early date, which he sold to the Skolfields on his removed to Bowdoinham, Maine, about 1795. Spear's Rock at Harpswell is a memorial of one of his deeds of great helpfulness there. He was a man of noble character which made itself felt for good in many ways, especially in Bowdoinham, where his last years were spent.
He married, Dec. 19, 1759, Anne Skolfield, born at Harpswell, Maine, in 1742, died June 10, 1772; a member of one of the string old pioneer families of Brunswick and Harpswell. The son Robert married Isabella Hayden and became the ancestor of many of the most enterprising people in Bowdoinham and other Maine towns. The daughters are said to have respectivcely married Josiah Simpson, John Dunning and John Giveen.
(V) Robert (4), son of Robert (3) and Anne (Skolfield) Spear, was born 1764, and died at Bowdoinham June 1, 1805. He was a man of great worth and helpfulness.
He married March 7, 1793, Isabella (Hayden) Potter, widow of Matthew Potter, and daughter of George Hayden, one of the best known settlers at Brunswick. She was born at Brunswick Nov. 26, 1760, died in Bowdoinham, Nov. 13, 1850.
Their sons Thomas and George were men of great worth and among their descendants have been many scholars of marked ability, five children in one of the families taking the hightest honors in the schools from which they graduated.
(VI) George (2), son of Robert (4) and Isabella (Haydeh) (Potter) Spear, was born in Harpswell, and removed with his father to Bowdoinham when a child, dying in the latter town Sept. 7, 1839, at the age of forty-four years. He was a man of very upright charcter, whose advice was sought by many people in the town where he lived. He was a cabinet maker, and showed wonderful ability in making articles in his special line of work. His work was of such an ingenious and enduring character that it was sought after by people living miles away, and some of his workmanship is still shown with much pride.
He married (first) April 11, 1817, Ruth Eaton, who died May 30, 1832, at the age of thirty-four years, daughter of Capt. Ziba and Ruth (Leonard) Eaton. She was a noble woman, and of the sixth generation from Francis Eaton, who came to Plymouth, Mass. on the "Mayflower" with his wife Sarah. The Leonard family was of high repute at Taunton, Mass., and Capt. Ziba Eaton was a brave revolutionary soldier.
George Spear married (second) Nov. 13, 1832, Lavina Dingley, of Bowdoinham, who died March 30, 1834, leaving no children.
The third wife of George Spear, whom he married in 1835, was Elearnor Cornish, of Bowdoinham, born Oct. 10, 1807, died March, 1890, daughter of Cyprian and Reliance (Mallet) Cornish. The only child of this third marriage was:
Cornelia E. Spear, b. April 18, 1837, who married John Samuel Hendee.
Children of 1st marriage:
Mary Elizabeth, married Brackett R. Andros.
Emeline, who died in infancy.
Robert Dunham, who married Cordelia E. Purington.
Rebecca J., who married Andrew J. Whidden, of Salem, Mass.
(VII) George Jewett, son of George (2) and Ruth (Eaton) Spear, was born in Bowdoinham, Feb. 12, 1823, and died in Bath, Maine, March 10, 1907, having moved to Bath when a young man, and resided in the same cheery home so well known to hundreds of people for over fifty years. The constructive ability for which his family was famed in him took the form of work as a shipsmith, and his quickness in filling orderes and the enduring quality of his work was famed in many places. He was a man of truly sterling character.
He married, in Phillips, Maine, Jan. 28, 1849, Elmira Vaughan, born in Monmouth, Maine, Jan. 19, 1832, daughter of Daniel W. and Patience West (Whitney) Howard, who were highly respected citizens of Phillips, Maine.
Three of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Spear died in infancy.
The surviving children:
Myra West, who married in 1895, Fred Russell Eugene Dean and resides at New Dorchester, Mass.
(VIII) Daniel Howard, son of George Jewett and Elmira V. (Howard) Spear, was born Nov. 18, 1849, in Bowdoinham, and has resided in Bath since two years of age. He was a student in the schools of his native city, but preferred an active life, and learned the trade of blacksmith at a very early age, going into business for himself in 1870. The constructive talent of his family was so clearly seen by the many friends of Mr. Spear that he was urged to use it in a wider sphere, and in 1886 he associated himself with Capt. John R. Kelley and his father-in-law, Elijah F. Sawyer, in the ship building business under the firm name of Kelley Spear Company. This firm was incorporated in 1890, with John R. Kelley as president; in 1900 Elijah F. Sawyer became president and Daniel H. Spear treasurer. On the death of Mr. Sawyer Sept. 1, 1906, Mr. Spear was elected president of the company and Mr. H. B. Sawyer, son of Elijah F. Sawyer, treasurer. The members of this firm have always worked together in the most harmonious manner and have done a very large business under the skillful guidance of Mr. Spear, haivng built one hundred and sixty-seven vessels, and all of them praised for their seaworthiness.
Mr. Spear has been trustee of the Bath Trust Company since its organization and a member of the exective board of the People's Savings Bank. He represened his war, the sevenh, in the common council in 1869, and to the satisfaction of his host of friends was elected mayor of Bath in 1906.
He is a very active member of Solar Lodge, F. and A. M., No. 14; Montgomery and St. Bernard R.A.C., No. 2; and Dunlap Commandery, K. T., No. 5. He is a truly helpful supporter of the Universalist church. He is thus a true representatie of a talented and worthy family.
He married Dec. 27, 1876, Ada R., born in Bath May 25, 1858, daughter of Elijah F. and Sarah (Marston) Sawyer.