Sgt. Thomas Spencer

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Thomas Spencer, Sargeant

Birthplace: Stotfold, Bedfordshire, England
Death: Died in Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut, USA
Place of Burial: Old Center Cemetery, Suffield, CT
Immediate Family:

Son of Gerard Spencer, Sr.; Gerat Spencer; Alice Whitbread and Alice Spencer
Husband of Sarah Spencer; Sarah Spencer and Ann Spencer
Father of Sarah Huxley; Hannah Sexton / Brainard; Elizabeth Andrew; Gerard (Jared) Spencer; Mary Root and 4 others
Brother of William Spencer; Richard Spencer; Henry Spencer; Elizabeth Spencer, Twin; John Spencer and 6 others

Occupation: Surveyor of Highways; Soldier in militia and Pequot War;, Sergeant, Sargeant
Managed by: Jocelynn Elaine Oakes
Last Updated:

About Sgt. Thomas Spencer

"Gerard (1) Spencer (1614-1685) along with his older brothers, William (1601-1640), Thomas (1607-1687), and Michael (1611-1653) were among the very first settlers in New England under the auspices of the Massachusetts Bay Company. Their sister, Elizabeth Spencer, also was a pioneer as the wife of Timothy Tomlins. Almost certainly all were among the first passengers of the Winthrop Fleet when the first contingent of eleven ships reached New England in 1630." [Jack T. & Edith W. Spencer, Gerard Spencer, A Pioneer of Cambridge, Lynn & Haddam; Connecticut Nutmegger, Sept 1997, pgs 188-614, as cited in]

  • Our New England ancestors and their descendants, 1620-1900: historical ... By Henry Whittemore
    • Spencer and Allied Families
  • Pg. 49-84
  • Pg. 53
  • Prof. Ray T. Spencer while making researches in his own line, discovered among the church records of St. George's Parish, Stotfold, Bedfordshire, England. much interesting data, concerning the line of Gerrard Spencer, the father of William, Thomas, Michael and Gerrard the emigrants, from which it appears that the above named Gerrard was the son of Michael who also had a brother Gerrard, and they were the sons of John. Thus three generations preceding the emigrants are definitely established. The church records of St. George's Parish, above referred to, show that "June 9, 1558, John Spencer, Sen., was buried."
  • There is evidence to show that this John was the father of Michael and of the first Gerrard mentioned.
  • The ancestry of Gerard Spencer and his brothers William, Thomas and Michael Spencer, appears from the parish registers of Edworth and Stotfield in Bedfordshire, Eng., and other contemporaneous documents.
  • Jan. 25, 1555, Michael Spencer and Annis Liuur were married (the last name of Annis is so poorly written in the record that is cannot be definitely determined.)
  • April 20, 1557, John, son of Michael Spencer baptized.
  • May 27, 1558, was baptized Michael, son of Michael Spencer.
  • April 15, 1560, buried Michael, son of Michael Spencer.
  • 23 Feb. 1561, Annis, the wife of Michael Spencer, was buried.
  • 20 Aug., 1564, Joan, the daughter of Michael Spencer, was baptized.
  • 30 Aug., 1566, Alice, daughter of Michael Spencer, was baptized. }Twins.
  • 30 Aug., 1566, Michael Spencer, was baptized,} Twins
  • 24 July, 156?, Ann, daughter of Michael Spencer baptized.
  • 30 July, 1568, Jarratt Spencer and Ellen Whitson were married, whose will was proved at London, 20 May, 1577; he was brother of Michael the elder.
  • Pg. 54
  • 12 March, 1571, Thomas, son of Michael Spencer was baptized.
  • 20 May, 1576, Gerat Spencer, son of Michael Spencer, and Elizabeth his wife, baptized.
  • 9 July, 1580, Richard, son of Michael and Elizabeth Spencer, baptized.
  • 18 Nov., 1599, Elizabeth, wife of Michael Spencer, was buried.
  • It is quite probable that Michael Spencer of Edworth, and Gerrard Spencer of Biggleswade, were sons of John Spencer, Senior, and Ann Spencer who burials are recorded in Edworth register, the former June 9, 1558, and the later June 16, 1569: Nothing more is known of them than what is disclosed by these records .... etc.
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  • Families of Early Hartford, Connecticut By Lucius Barnes Barbour Pg.556
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The earliest documentation for Thomas puts him in the Colonies by the end of 1633, apparently arriving as a single man. He first settled in Cambridge, Mass and moved by 1636 to Hartford, Conn. This would place him among the earliest of Hartford settlers. He was referred to in his estate papers as "Sergeant Thomas Spencer". He had been a constable in Hartford. I'm not sure if the "Sergeant" refers to his position as "constable" or a military reference. He was a furniture maker and left his son, Jared, his shop and tools. He lived a full and long life and died at the age of 80 years old on Sep 11, 1687, in Hartford, Connecticut. He married first, Anne Dorryfall in 1634, and had three children by her. She died by 1645, leaving three small children. He then married Sarah Bearding in 1645 and they had six more children.

"In the Cambridge inventory of lands on 1 May 1635 'Thomas Spenser' held four parcels: ' in the town onw house with a garden plot and backside about one rood'; two acres in Smalllot Hill; one acre in the Neck; and one acre more in the Neck [CaBOP 7]. The first two of these parcels were purchased by Emond Angier [CaBOP 50]. In the Hartford land inventory in February 1639/30 'Thom[as] Spenser, sergeant at arms. ' held thirteen parcels (some of which he acquired after the date of the inventory): 'one parcel on which his dwelling house now standeth with yards & gardens therein being which was sequestered for Thom[as] Fisher & is now settled on Thom[as] Spenser part whereof he hath sold to Will[ia]m Spenser & now remaineth by estimation one acre'; one acre and two roods in the West Field; three roods in the Soldier's Field; four acres in the North Meadow; one acre and two roods on the east side of the Great River; one acre and one rood on the east side of the Great River 'which is a parcel of that which was sequestered for Mr. Woolcott'; four acres on the east side of the Great River 'which he bought of Will[ia]m Spenser for a parcel of land which lay in the Middle Ox pasture & contained seven acres two roods & was parcel of the said Thom[as] Spenser's land'; three acres and two roods in the cowpasture; five acres and twenty perches in the cowpasture; five acres in the Little Ox pasture 'which he bought of Nath[aniel] Yela for land belonging to the said Thom[as] Spenser'; two acres in the Little Ox pasture 'which he bought of Ric[hard] Goodman' on 24 February 1653; and four acres on the east side of the Great River 'which he bought of Joseph Eston' on 24 February 1653 [Ha BOP 152-54].

In his will, dated 9 September 1686 and proved 26 October 1687, 'Thomas Spencer Senior of Hartford, ... finding the shadows of the evening are stretching over me,' bequeathed to 'my eldest son Obadiah... my housing and land in Hartford, all my lands both meadow and upland on the west side and east side of the Connecticut River' in Hartford (he paying certain legacies), along with some personal goods; to 'my son Thomas' 15; to 'my son Samuel (he having received a good portion of his uncle) all my wearing apparell'; to 'my son Jarrad my shop & tools & 12, all of which are in his hands' ; residue to 'my five daughters Sarah, Elizabeth, Hannah, Mary and Martha, to be equally divided to them by their brother my son Jarrad'; 'my son Obediah Spencer my executor'; Capt. Alyn, Lieut . Caleb Standly and my cousin Samuel Spencer' overseers [Hartford PD Case #5095; Manwaring 1: 365].

The 'inventory of the estate of Sergeant Thomas Spencer who deceased the 11 of September 1687" totalled 139 19s., including 132 in real estate; 'six acres of land on the east side Coneticutt River,' 60; 'four acres of land in the long meadow,' 20; and his homelot and housing,' 50; after listing the few items of personal estate, the appraisers noted that 'the other moveabl e estate wa s distributed by himself and delivered to his daughters most of it in his lifetime and the remainder before the inventory was taken as his executors gave the account of said estate' [Hartford PD Case #5095].


S1. Bedfordshire parish registers (Stotfold 1559-1812)

S2. Jacobus, Donald Lines, “The Four Spencer Brothers: Their Ancestors and Descendants,” The American Genealogist, Vol. 27-28, 1951

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Thomas SPENCER - bap. Mar. 29, 1607, Stotfold, Bedfordshire, England; d. Sep. 11, 1687, Hartford, CT. Son of Gerard SPENCER and Alice WHITBREAD. To Cambridge, MA about 1631 with brothers William, Gerard, and Michael. Freeman May 14, 1634. To Hartford, CT by 1639 as orginal proprietor; chimney viewer 1650; north side constable 1658; surveyor of highways 1672; Sgt. of train band 1650, receiving grant in 1671 for his service in militia and Pequot War. His name appears on Hartford's Founders Monument. Will dated Sep. 9, 1687. Married first Ann DORRYFALL (b. 1610; d. 1645), sister of Barnabas of Braintree, MA. Married second Sep. 11, 1645, Hartford, CT.

Founders Monument (1986), located in the Ancient Burying Ground, also known as the Center Church Cemetery. Image scanned from The Original Proprietors, by the Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford, Inc. (n.d.). Peter Grant, past Governor of the SDFH, wrote in the 1986 Register that:

"The Council of the Founders organized the Ancient Burying Ground Association in 1982 as a committee of the Founders. An earlier organization of the same name was formed in 1836 and erected the Founders Monument in 1837. A brownstone obelisk which listed the names of the city's founders, the monument had deteriorated severly, despite various conservation efforts.

"The Ancient Burying Ground Association determined that it was impossible to restore the 1837 monument. A replacement monument, carved from beautiful, durable Connecticut granite, was dedicated on August 6, 1986. While the new monument retains the size and proportions of the original, the Founders' names are now listed in alphabetical order. Several names, omitted from the 1837 monument, are now included."

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  • New England families, genealogical and memorial; a record of the achievements of her people in the making of commonwealths and the founding of a nation; (1914) Volume 3 edited by William Richard Cutter
    • Spencer Pg. 1332 - 1334
  • Pg. 1332
  • Four brother named Spencer were living in New England in 1648, namely - Michael, Jared, Thomas and William. they were legatees of Sir Richard Spencer, of London, England, evidently their uncle. Michael settled first in Cambridge, then in Lynn, and owned land also on the Connecticut river. William settled in Cambridge and then went to Hartford, Connecticut. Thomas lived in Cambridge and Hartford.
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  • Genealogical Notes First Settlers of Connecticut and Massachusetts
  • Sergeant Thomas Spencer, one of the first settlers of Hartford, Conn. , was twice married. 1. To ___. 2. To Sarah Bearding , daughter of Nathaniel Bearding , also one of the first settlers of Hartford , September 11, 1645 .
  • Sergeant Thomas Spencer died September 11, 1687 , aged ___.
  • Children,- by his first wife.
    • I. Obadiah , born
    • II. Thomas , born
    • III. Samuel , born
  • Children,-by his second wife.
    • IV. Jared , born
    • V. Sarah , born Married Thomas Huxley .
    • VI. Elizabeth , bap. March 26, 1648 . Married Samuel Andrews , of Hartford
    • VII. Hannah , born April 25, 1653 .
    • VIII. Mary , born May 20, 1655 .
    • IX. Martha , born May 19, 1657 . Married a Benton .
  • I. OBADIAH SPENCER, of Hartford, Conn., was married to Mary Disborough, daughter of Nicholas Disborough,* one of the first settler of Hartford. .....
  • Mrs. Mary Spencer died ___.
  • Mr. Obadiah Spencer died 1712.
  • II. Thomas Spencer , of Suffield, Conn. , was married to Esther Andrews , daughter of William Andrews , of Hartford, Conn.
  • Mr. Thomas Spencer died -.
  • His widow, Mrs. Esther Spencer , died March 6, 1698 .
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  • In America many Spencers have been traced back genetically to four Spencer brothers: William Spencer 1601–1640, Thomas Spencer 1607–1687, Michael Spencer 1611–1653, and Gerard Spencer 1614–1685.[55][56]
  • From:
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Biographical Summary:

Sergeant Thomas Spencer, Cambridge; freeman, May 14, 1634; removed in 1637 to Hartford, where he was one of the original proprietors; his home-lot in 1639 was on the east side of Main St., near what is now the junction of Main and Windsor Streets.; he served in the Pequot War; chimney-viewer, 1650; constable, north side, 1658; surveyor of highways, 1672; he was sergeant of the trainband in 1650, and received in 1671 a grant of 60 acres, "for his good service in the country." He married (1)____;(2) September 11, 1645, Sarah, only child of Nathaniel Boarding, of Hartford. He died September 11, 1687.

Children of 1st wife:

i. Obadiah, Hartford; freeman, 1658; married Mary, daughter of Nicholas Disborough; died 1712.

ii. Thomas; freeman, 1658; married Esther, daughter of William Andrews, of Hartford; removed to Suffield.

iii. Samuel.

Children of 2d wife:

iv. Gerard, Hartford; married December 22, 1680, Hannah, daughter of John Pratt, Jr., of Hartford; died 1712.

v. Sarah, married Thomas Huxley, of Suffield; died October 24, 1712.

vi. Elizabeth, baptized March 26, 1648; in.. Samuel Andrews, of Hartford, vii. Hannah, born April 15,1653.

vii. Mary, born May 18, 1655.

ix. Martha, born March 19, 1657-8; married Benton.

SOURCE: James Hammond Trumbull, editor, The memorial history of Hartford County, Connecticut, 1633-1884, Volume 1 (Boston, Massachusetts: Edward L. Osgood, 1886), page 259. Retrieved: 3 May 2011 from Google Books

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view all 36

Sgt. Thomas Spencer's Timeline

March 29, 1607
Stotfold, Bedfordshire, England
March 29, 1607
St. Mary's, Stotford, Bedfordshire, England
March 29, 1607
Stotford, Bedfordshire, England
March 29, 1607
Stotfold, Bedfordshire, England
March 29, 1607
March 29, 1607
St Mary's, Stotfold, Bedforshire, England
March 29, 1607
St Mary's, Stotfold, Bedforshire, England
December 4, 1636
Age 29
James City, VA, USA
Age 31
Hartford, Connecticut, United States
Age 35
Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut, United States