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View Tree for John SpensJohn Spens (b. Mar 1612, d. Abt. 1662)

John Spens (son of David Spens and Janett Cunningham)71 was born Mar 1612 in Dysart, Fifeshire, Scotland72, and died Abt. 1662 in Durham, England. He married Helen Morris on 1633 in Dysart, Fifeshire, Scotland73.

 Includes NotesNotes for John Spens:
On Oct 5, 1649 John was transported by Mr. Robert Parker in Northhampton Cty VA. also called Accmiack, VA.
The following information courtesy of :Twigs of Inman & Spence@ Dr Barbara Inman Beall, Phd.vol I, Fall 1999Lancaster-Wormiston PressPo Box 173Broomfield, CO 80038-0173John Spens of Dysart, Fifeshire, ScotlandAccording to the Kingdom of Fife web page:Dysart parish, on the Firth of Forth, is 4 miles in length from north-south and 2 miles in breadth. It is bounded by Kinglassie, Markinch, Wemyss, Auchterderran and Kirkcaldy. Much waste land has been reclaimed in the past 60 years by draining, embanking and fencing. The main crops are wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, hay and turnip. The Fife breed of cattle are reared, as well as horses, but few sheep. Coals are abundant and cheap; although they are slow to kindle and leave much ash, they produce a strong heat. There are also some limestone and ironstone quarries. A ton of ironstone produces nearly 12 cwt. of iron. Dysart was a very prosperous port before the Union [1707], but all its prosperity has since left it. Linen manufacture remained, with 2088 looms in 1836. There is also now a flax spinning mill, a pottery, a rope-works and other useful trades. Besides the church in Dysart, there is a chapel of ease in Pathhead, a Free Church and a UP Church. Besides the parish school there are 14 other schools in the parish. Although there are nearly 150 public houses, sobriety, industry and morality are as fully conspicuous as here as anywhere else. Low wages no doubt accounts for the sobriety. Besides the burgh of Dysart, there are also the villages of Pathhead, Sinclairton and Gallowtown and the hamlets of Hackleymoor and the Borland." from 'A descriptive & historic gazeteer of the counties of Fife, Kinross & Clackmannan' M Barbieri, published 1857A large number of Spens/Spence families resided in Dysart and the surrounding area over the centuries. It would have been a thriving port when David Spens settled there after his return from Sweden. And he was undoubtedly related to the Spens families living there.All of his children are not known; however, his son John Spens was born in March 1612. David may have had two daughters: Janett, who was christened 16 Dec 1614 in Dysart, and Margaret, who was christened 21 Dec 1617 in Dysart. Margaret was named for his mother, Margaret Learmonth. Janett may have been named for his wife.John Spens of Dysart had three wives. His first wife was Helen Morris (b. ca. 1614), whose brother was Henry Morris (1612-1629) of Dunfermline, who married Isobel Duncane (1609-1629) of Dunfermline. Their daughter Janet Morris (Moreis), b. 1636, Dunfermline, married James Allen, b. 1625, Dunfermline, and another daughter, Bessie Allan (b. 1657, Dunfermline,) married David Inglis (b. 1620, Dunfermline), whose sister, Margaret, married William Spens in Dunfermline in 1648. This William Spens may have been another brother of John Spens of Dysart and, therefore, another son of David Spens.John Spens's second wife was Anne Rowe, the daughter of Edward Rowe (Roe), b. 1580, South Shields, Durham, England and Elizabeth Pattison, b. ca. 1584, South Shields, Durham, England. Anne Rowe was born ca. 1614, South Shields, Durham, England.John Spens's third wife was Margaret Guthrie, who came from Angus. Margaret's father was James Guthrie (b. 1596, Brechin, Angus, Scotland) and her mother was Jonet Lyon or Lyone, b. 1600, Brechin, Angus). Margaret's brother was David Guthrie, b. 1627, who married Margaret Livingston, b. 1631 and their son, James (b. 1654 in Angus) married Margaret Skinner, b. 1657, whose father, Laurence Skinner (b. 1626, Angus), married Margaret Guthrie (Margaret Guthrie Spens's niece).The John Spens family follows:Children by Helen Morris, whom he married in Dysart in 1633/1634:1. Patrick , who was born ca. 1633/1634, whose name does not appear on Dysart records. It is possible that the family was living elsewhere at the time of Patrick's birth. Patrick became progenitor of the Westmoreland, VA Spence families. His earliest deed of record there is dated 1657. His wife's name was Dorcas. Her surname was believed to have been Youell; however, current researchers no longer view this as correct. Patrick Spens's family became loyal members of the Presbyterian Church.2. Margaret, who was born 5 November 1637 and who was christened 14 June 1638 in Dysart. She died young.3 & 4 David and James (twins), who were born 5 April 1639 and who were christened 16 April 1639. The mother died in childbirth. David survived: this is David Spence of Somerset, MD. I do not know the status of James.[Note: My thanks to Pat Jones of Surprise, Arizona, who sent me a copy of the actual christening records for David and James. I had originally presumed James' name was John; however, the christening records clearly show that his name was James. He was named, no doubt, for his uncle, Sir James Spens of Wormiston.Children by Anne Roe (Rowe), whom he married at St. Oswalds', Durham, England 29 September 1639.1 & 2 (Twins) Thomas and Susanna, b. 19 Jan. 1641. [This next part is confusing, but consider the times. The Presbyterians and Anglicans were fighting one another for control of Scotland. This Spence family was Anglican, hence the reason for their constant travel between Dysart and Durham. When the Presbyterians controlled Scotland, these Spences went to Durham. When the Anglicans controlled Scotland, these Spences were back in Dysart. Susanna was ill, and it was questionable as to whether she would survive. Thomas was christened in Dysart 24 Jan 1641, and then the family fled to Durham, where Susanna was christened at St. Oswald's in Durham 29 June 1641. She may have died young; there is no further record of Susanna.3. Alexander, christened at Dysart 12 Nov 16424. Margaret (John was determined to use this name. His grandmother was Margaret Learmonth, wife of David Spens, Laird of Wormiston). Margaret was born 31 December 1643, and she was christened in Dysart 12 January 1644. Margaret married John Alexander of Dunfermline and their children were John, c. 20 Jan. 1661; William, c. 13 July 1662, James c. 26 Nov. 1665; Janet, c. 4 April 1667, and another John, who was christened 28 Nov 1669. The first John may have died.5. Isobel, b. ca. 1644 or 1645. She married James Alexander of Dunfermline, John Alexander's brother. The family called her "Bessie Spens". Their two known children were Isobell, b. 2 Sept. 1666, Dunfermline, and John Alexander, b. 20 Oct. 1666.6. Janet (Jonet), christened 3 October 1646, Dysart.7. John, christened 8 June 1649, dysart. This is the John Spence who completed servitude in 1666 and who bought land in Dorchester, Maryland around the same period of time. He was David Spence of Somerset's half-brother. Anne Rowe died in childbirth with John.Children by Martharet Guthrie, whom he married in 1649:1 & 2 (Twins): Jeane and Henry. Henry was christened in Dysart 5 Jan 1651 and Jeane was christened in Dysart in April 1651. Henry survived and remained in Dysart. Nothing else is known about Jeane.After 1651, the record becomes silent on John Spens of Dysart. There is something I am looking into and haven't confirmed as yet. 1649/1650 were not great years for Scotland. Charles I was beheaded in 1649 and as a result, many Royalists and Cavaliers poured into Virginia. They were described in The History of Northumberland County as "...of dark hair, swarthy in complexion and black or brown-eyed. They were Anglicans or Episcopalians and maintained a Southwest Dialect--the broad devon of Sir Walter Raleigh. All of Wales except Pembroke was Royalist & Episcopalian..."In 1649, Robert Parker transported a John Spence, whose name has often been transcribed as "Spences" into Northampton, Virginia. The exact entry reads:Mr. Robert Parker, 500 acres in Naswattock River, Northampton County, 5 October 1649, p. 185. Lyeing N.N.W. upon great Naswattock River from Mossacotanzick Creek mouth to Mattawompson Creek. Transportation of 10 persons: Edward Preston, Robert Speed, 3 tymes, Henry Hudson, John Spences, James CockDales, Henry Croopp, Robert Percivall, John Thomas."Perhaps this is John Spens of Dysart. It is quite possible that some time after his marriage to Margaret Guthrie, he left Scotland for Virginia, and it appears that he eventually returned to England after the Restoration. The two children, Jean and Henry were actually born in early 1650, but were not christened until 1651. John Thomas's son, John Thomas, became the servant of James Dashiell in Northumberland in 1660, and James Dashiell was a cousin of David Spence of Somerset. Young John was thirteen on 20 April 1660, indicating that he was born in 1647. This Parker family later intermarried with the Hunters of Nansemond, who intermarried with the Perrys, who intermarried with the Spencers and Spences. It is possible that John Spens went to Virginia when the situation in Scotland was too dangerous for him to stay there. He may have acquired land in Virginia, which his son, David, later took over.John Spens probably died in England in the 1660s. The exact date of his death is unknown.

More About John Spens:
Baptism (LDS): 21 Sep 2002, MTIMP.
Endowment (LDS): Cleared
Record Change: 07 Jan 2007
Sealed to parents (LDS): Cleared

More About John Spens and Helen Morris:
Marriage: 1633, Dysart, Fifeshire, Scotland.73

Children of John Spens and Helen Morris are:
  1. +David Spence, b. 05 Apr 1639, Dysart Fife Scotland74, d. 30 Jul 1679, Wiccomocomo Somerset Cty Md.
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