The Parentage of Elisha Spence

I know I said we’d talk about the Bowdens next, but, first, I have a correction to make.  Elisha Spence was, most likely, not the son of Isaac and Elisabeth.  In fact, I’m pretty sure he was the son of John and Rhoda.  My reasons for this are, mostly, circumstantial.  My main piece of evidence comes from a couple of land patents (emphases are mine).

  1. John Spence
    Cumberland County
    Book 91, page 62
    Grant Numbers: 1265

    Know ye that We have granted unto John Spence one hundred and sixty acres of land in Cumberland County on Hector’s creek Joining Atkins’s and Anderson’s lines; Beginning at a small Spanish oak Atkins’s corner in Anderson’s line then as Anderson’s line East thirty chain to a red oak by the side of the Creek, then North twelve chain and fifty links to a white oak by the side of the creek, then East eighteen chain and fifty links to a stake and pine then North twenty five chain and sixty six links to a stake and black jack, then West forty eight chain and fifty links to the Beginning. Dated the 17th Day of October 1796.

  2. Elisha Spence
    Cumberland County
    Book 134, page 256
    Grant Number: 2433

    Know ye that we have granted unto Elisha Spence twenty acres of land in Cumberland County, Joining his own, James Atkins, and other lines on or near the pond Branch; Beginning at a post oak one of his own corners of the land his father let him have and runs East twenty seven chains with his own line to a sassafras in the Vaugn line then south seven chains to a pine James Atkins corner then as his line West twenty seven chains to a sassafras by a Branch then North seven chains to the Beginning.

    Entered 3rd February 1819. To Hold to the said Elisha Spence Heirs and assigns forever. Dated 13th of March 1821

Of course, they could be talking about two different Atkinses.  🙂

Next are a couple of marriage bonds:

  • John Prince and John Spence paid bond in Cumberland County for John Prince to marry Nancy Spence August 23, 1815
  • Daniel Prince and Elisha Spence paid bond in Cumberland County for Daniel Prince to marry Medeia (I don’t know if that’s supposed to be Medea or Madeira) Spence September 23, 1819

I know Nancy Prince was their daughter because of this letter in John’s estate file:

N. Carolina Cumberland County
To the Court of pleas and quarter
sessions March Term 1830

This is to certify that I Rhoday Spence Relict of the late John Spence Senr Decd of the county afforesaid do hereby relinquish my right of administration on my Intestate husbands Estate, to my Daughter Nancy Prince or to any other person she may see proper to annominate for it is necessary that some person should be appointed and I am not able to attend to the business myself it therefore is my request that she may be appointed or some other person that she may recommend to the court and no other person.  Given under my hand this 27th Day first day of March 1830.

Rhoday Spence (her mark)

Test:  Montillian Sexton
Nancy Prince

I’ve read that Rhoda’s first name was actually Rebeckah and that she was the daughter of Hardy Dean of Wake County, but that is impossible.  Rebeckah Dean was unmarried as of 1827, according to her father’s estate papers.  Within that folder, there is a letter, dated January 29, 1827, from Aulsey Dean, in Tennessee, to Hardy Dean, Jr., which says

…give my compliments to sister Rebeccah and allso brother Josiah and his family and Theophilus and fammily, Claton Leyland [not sure about that last name, it was hard to make out] fammily and also Berry King and his familly…

These are his siblings and their families.  Notice there is no “and family” for Rebeckah, and no husband named.  If she was the wife of John Spence, it would have said something like “give compliments to John Spence and family.”

The children I currently have for John and Rhoda are:

  • Mary “Polly” Spence married John Taylor December 7, 1813, John Spence bondsman
  • Nancy Spence married John Prince August 23, 1815, John Spence, bondsman
  • Elisha Spence married Nancy Wood, Jr. November 25, 1823
  • Medeia Spence married Daniel Prince September 23, 1819, Elisha Spence, bondsman
  • Sarah Spence married Thomas Spence January 17, 1820, Samuel Atkins, bondsman (uncertain)
  • James Spence married Nancy Pate January 1, 1825, Elisha Spence, bondsman
  • William Spence (uncertain, John Spence estate sale)
  • Delilah Spence (uncertain, John Spence estate sale)

I’m sure there were others. Besides Rhoda, there were seven other females in that house in 1810.  Of males, there was a boy under 10, most likely William, and John.  Talk about being outnumbered.  If Rhoda was the Rhody Spence in Sampson County in 1800, then the boys would be Elisha and James and the girl, probably, Nancy.  I don’t know where James and Elisha were in 1810.  They may have been bound out as apprentices, which would, perhaps, explain why their wives were from Johnston County.

Free White Males Free White Females
<10 10-15 16-25 26-44 45+ <10 10-15 16-25 26-44 45+
Sampson County – 1800
Rhody Spence 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0
Cumberland County – 1810
John Spence 1 0 0 0 1 2 3 2 1 0

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