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Spencers of Note

Princess Diana Mother of future King of England
Winston Churchill Prime Minister of England during WW II
American Presidents Washington, Coolidge, F. D. Roosevelt, Bush
General Henry Champion Revolutionary War General
General John Glover Revolutionary War General
Agnes Harris Royalty Links of Wife of immigrant William Spencer
Anne Hutchinson Religious Reformer - Banished to Rhode Island
Ambrose Spencer Jurist, Congressman
John C. Spencer Secretary of War and Treasury under Tyler
General Joseph Spencer Revolutionary War General - Continental Congress
Platt Spencer Social activist, invented the "Spencerian Method of Penmanship"
Selden Palmer Spencer US Senator - Missouri - 1918-1925
William Augustus Spencer Titanic Passenger
William Brainerd Spencer Civil War Vet, Congressman, Louisian Supreme Court
Harriet (Beecher) Stowe Author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin"
Tennessee Williams American Playright
Related Links Related Links
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Notable Descendants of Agnes Harris >>>

From Her Second Marriage to William Edwards

Jonathan Edwards Preacher Who Was Very  Involved in "The Great Awakening"
Aaron Burr Second Vice-President of the United States - Controversial Figure
Pierpont Edwards Judge, father-in-law of Eli Whitney

Princess Diana

There are sources that indicate Diana is descended from Henry and Isabella (Lincoln) Spencer, died 1485, in England. Ancestors of American Presidents shows the descsendancies of four Presidents from this couple, but conspicuously is silent on the Princess Diana connection (the book shows many other Princess Diana connections to other Presidents through her American lines.) The Spencers of the Great Migration indicates the Spencer Siblings were descended from Henry and Isabella (Lincoln), but the timing of their genelaogy places this couple born about 100 years earlier than AAP shows. So, there are questions about  our relationship to Princess Diana. In the meantime, this information is presented as food for thought.

See a chart showing our possible relationship.

English Spencer lineages: This page shows the English Spencer line and then the line from the common Spencer ancestor to Gerard the father of our four Spencer immigrant children at the bottom with a link there to the American immigrants.

Yahoo lists 7 categories and 253 additional individual pages hits for Princess Diana.

Visit a  mirror site for the official Royal Princess Diana Page.

Mists of Antiquity discusses the fraud and error that existed in the Spencer genealogy for years. Unfortunatly, the author is not clear on exactly what the error was or the correct situation should be. Interesting reading, nonetheless.

Lady Diana Spencer Tribute page describes who some of her ancestors were and their roles in English history.

Read the History of the Althorp Spencers, Diana's Line.

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Winston Spencer Churchill
Winston Spencer-Churchill is another possible cousin of ours through our Spencer immigrants. Since he comes down the English side of the Spencers, the same questions surround his relationship to us as the questions about Princess Diana's relationship. See also this chart

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American Presidents

We may also be cousins to four presidents, as four presidents are shown in Ancestors of American Presidents as descended from Henry and Isabella (Lincoln) Spencer. The Spencers of the Great Migration show the Spencer siblings descended from this couple, but dating problems make these two genealogies incompatible. George Washington, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, George Bush, and Calvin Coolidge. (See Ancestry of American Presidents, Boyd, 1989, pg 171.) See the AAP chart for these presidents and a comparison of the AAP and SOTGM genealogies of Henry and Isabella (Lincoln) Spencer.

George Washington
Calvin Coolidge
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
George Walker Bush

These presidents' Spencer immigrant ancestors are not our Spencer brothers (or sister Elizabeth) however. Other descendants of  the English Spencer ancestors migrating to America at different times (one of whom was Anne Hutchinson, see below) spawned these presidents. For more on this subject, including a Spencer descendant chart for each one, see Ancestry of American Presidents, Boyd, 1989, chart on pg 171.

Note, also that a William Spencer, will proved 1748 in Rhode Island, is an ancestor of Harding. Jacobus, in his TAG series on the Spencers, shows a William who may be this William, but I have not seen this link made as yet.

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Henry Champion - Revolutionary War General
         "General Henry (4) Champion, son of Colonel Henry (3) Champion, was born in Westchester, Connecticut, March 16, 1751, and died there July 13, 1836. He served in the revolution as ensign at the Lexington alarm. On April 26, 1775, he was appointed second lieutenant of the Eighth company, Second regiment, and on May 1 promoted to first lieutenant. He was on duty at Roxbury until December 10, He was in the battle of Bunker Hill. On January 1, 1776, he was promoted adjutant on the staff of Colonel Samuel Wyllys, and after the evacuation of Boston, marched to New York, and assisted in fortifying that city. He took part in the battle of Long Island, August 27, 1776, and was with the army at White Plains, October 28, remaining until December, 1776. On January 1, 1777, he was promoted captain of the First Connecticut Line, remaining until the regiment was reorganized as the Third. On July 15, 1779, he was appointed acting major of the First battalion, Light Brigade. This corps was composed of picked men from all the regiments under Washington's immediate command, and was organized especially to attempt the capture of Stony Point, which was successfully done. Major Champion remained in the army until the close of the revolution. He was a member of the Order of the Cincinnati in Connecticut.

         Major Champion was deputy to the general assembly in 1789, 1793-98, 1800-05, and from 1806 to 1817 was assistant. He was a deacon in the Westchester church from 1813 to 1828. General Champion always celebrated July 16, "Stony Point Day," at his home in Westchester. He obtained the charter for the Phoenix Bank of Hartford, because the State Bank had refused him the accommodation of a loan. He was largely interested in the Connecticut Land Company, to which he subscribed over eighty-five thousand dollars. The towns of Champion, New York, and Champion, Ohio, were named in his honor. He was instrumental in obtaining the school fund for Connecticut, and was chairman of the committee of the legislature appointed to arranme for the holding of the Hartford Convention in 1814. His opitaph reads as follows:

         "The patriotism of General Champion early led him to join the army of the Revolution. He was a brave and efficient subaltern officer at the battle of Bunker Hill. He shared in the perilous retreat of the American troops from Long Island. He rendered essential services under Kosciusko in constructing the defences at West Point. He led the first battalion of Connecticut Light Infantry at the capture of Stony Point. Subsequently he filled many offices of honor and trust in his native State. By his talents and influence he promoted the welfare of the community where he resided. He died cheered by the hope and sustained by the promises of the Gospel, leaving a memory respected by his friends, cherished by his family and honorable to the place of his birth."

         He married, in East Haddam, October 10, 1781, Abigail Tinker, born March 24, 1758, died April 19, 1818, daughter of Sylvanus and Abigail (Olmstead) Tinker, Children, born in Westchester: 1. Henry, born August 6, 1782. 2. Aristarchus, born October 23, 1784. 3. Aristobulus, twin of Aristarchus, died February 3, 1786. 4. Abigail, mentioned below. 5. Harriet, born May 2, 1789. 6. Maria, born November 19, 1791. 7. Infant, born March 11, 1794; died young. 8. Infant, born September 2. 1795; died young. 9. Eliza, born July 19, 1797. 10. William, twin of Eliza, died April 21, 1798. "

New England Families Genealogical and Memorial: Volume IV - Pp 1604-

The Spencer line of descent of General Henry Champion is:

 1   Gerard Spencer 1614 - 1685
..  +Hannah 1618 - 1683
........ 2   Hannah Spencer 1640 - 1691
............  +Daniel Brainerd 1641 - 1715
.................. 3   Joshua Brainerd 1672 - 1755
..................  *2nd Wife of Joshua Brainerd:
......................  +Mehitabel Dudley 1690 -
............................ 4   Deborah Brainerd 1724 - 1789
................................  +Henry Champion 1723 - 1797
...................................... 5  Henry Champion, General 1751 -
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John Glover, Revolutionary War General
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Agnes (Harris) Spencer - Ties to Royalty
"The Royal Descents of 500 Immigrants to the American Colonies", Gary Boyd Roberts, 1993, shows a lineage from Hugh Capet, King of France, died 996, down through to Agnes Harris, wife of William Spencer, American immigrant. She shows as related to Benjamin Harrison, 23rd US President in this analysis.

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Anne Hutchinson - Religious Reformer, expelled by the Puritans

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Ambrose Spencer
"SPENCER, Ambrose, jurist, was born in Salisbury, Conn., Dec. 13, 1765; a descendant of William Spencer, who came from England to Cambridge, Mass., 1631, becoming a landed proprietor of Hartford, Conn., and a deputy of the general  court in 1639. Ambrose attended Yale College, and was graduated from Harvard, in 1783; studied law with John Canfield,  at Sharon, Conn., and practised in Hudson, N.Y. He was married in 1784, to the daughter of John Canfield. He was city clerk, 178693; a member of the state assembly, 179395, and state senator, 17951804. He submitted and carried through a bill for the abolishment of capital punishment, in all cases except those of treason and murder, and was instrumental in the erection of a state prison near New York city. He was appointed assistant attorney-general of Columbia and Rensselaer counties in 1796; was attorney-general of New York state, 180204; justice of the supreme court, 180419, and chief justice, 181923. He was associated with Peter J. Munro, in the preparation of reforms in the chancery system of the state in 1808; was presidential elector in 1809; opposed the granting of a charter to the Six Million bank, and was a member of the state constitutional convention of 1821. He practised law in Albany, 182129; was mayor of the city, 182426, and was a representative in the 21st congress, 182931. He removed to Lyons, N.Y., in 1839, and engaged in agricultural pursuits. The honorary degree of LL.D. was conferred on him by the University of Pennsylvania in 1820, by Harvard in 1821, and by Columbia in 1823. He died in Lyons, N.Y., March 13, 1848."

The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans: Volume IX

Ambrose Spencer was the father of John C. Spencer, Secretary of War, shown separately.

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John Canfield Spencer - Congressman, Secretary of War and Treasury 1841-1844 under Tyler
"SPENCER, John Canfield, cabinet officer, was born in Hudson, N.Y., Jan. 8, 1788; son of Ambrose Spencer (q.v.). He was graduated at Union college in 1806, was admitted to the bar in 1809 and in 1811 was made master in chancery. He was judge-advocate-general in 1813 and assistant attorney-general for western New York, and also district attorney in 1815. He served as a Democratic representative from New York in the 15th congress, 181719, as a member of the New York assembly in 182021, and as state senator, 182428. He was a member of the board that revised the state statutes in 1827, and until 1830 was attorney-general specially appointed to prosecute the masons supposed to be connected with the abduction of William Morgan. He was again a member of the New York assembly in 1832 and was secretary of state, 183940. He was secretary of war in President Tyler's cabinet, 184143, and secretary of the U.S. treasury, 184344, when he resigned because of his opposition to the annexation of Texas. He was a regent of the University of the State of New York, 184095, and in 1849 received the degree of LL.D. from Union college. He edited, with John Duer and Benjamin F. Butler, a Revision of the Statutes of New York (3 vols., 1846). L.B. Proctor wrote a "Review of John C. Spencer's Legal and Political Career (1886). Secretary Spencer died in Albany, N.Y., May 11, 1895."

The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans: Volume IX,  page 453

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General Joseph Spencer - Revolutionary War General and Member of Continental Congress.

General Joseph Spencer, who reached the rank of Major General in the Revolution was: Garrard > Samuel > Isaac > Joseph Spencer. So, he is a "cousin" to we Spencers (an ancestor for some, too.)

Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution, , page 511:

Spencer, Joseph (Conn). Colonel in the Lexington Alarm, April, 1775; Colonel 2d Connecticut, 1st May 1775; Brigadier-General Continental Army, 22d June, 1775; Major-General, 9th August, 1776; resigned 13th January, 1778; Major-General Connecticut Militia, 1779 to close of war. (Died 13th January, 1789.)

Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1949, Biographies, S, page 1847:

SPENCER, Joseph, a Delegate from Connecticut; born in East Haddam, Conn., October 3, 1714; completed preparatory studies; studied law; was admitted to the bar and practiced; held several local offices; judge of probate in 1753; served in the French war in 1758; member of the Connecticut Council in 1776; brigadier general in the Continental Army; commissioned major general August 9, 1776, and resigned June 14, 1778, because Congress had ordered an investigation of his military conduct in 1777; Member of the Continental Congress in 1778 and 1779; again a member of the Connecticut Council in 1780 and was annually reelected until his death in East Haddam, Conn., on January 13, 1789; interment in Millington Green Cemetery; reinterment in Nathan Hale Park in 1904.

See the Second Connecticut Line Regiment Re-enactor's Home Page for some interesting stuff about the unit, including where it was at different times during the Revolution.

Here is another page about the Second Regiment of the Connecticut Line of this unit during the Revolution. Note the mention of being formed under Joseph Spencer.

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Platt Spencer - Social Activist, Invented the "Spencerian Form of Penmanship".

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Selden Palmer Spencer, Senator 1918-1925

This guy looks like he could be ours:

Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1949 Biographies,p 1848

SPENCER, Selden Palmer, a Senator from Missouri; born in Erie, Pa., September 16, 1862; attended the public schools of his native city and the Hopkins Grammar School, New Haven, Conn.; was graduated from Yale College in 1884 and from the Washington University Law School, St. Louis, Mo., in 1886; was admitted to the bar in 1886 and commenced practice in St. Louis; professor of medical jurisprudence in the Missouri Medical College at St. Louis in 1886; member of the State house of representatives in 1895 and 1896; judge of the circuit court of St. Louis 1897-1903; captain in the Missouri Home Guard and chairman of the draft board in 1917 and 1918; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of William J. Stone; reelected in 1920, and served from November 6, 1918, until his death; delegate to the Republican National Conventions in 1920 and 1924; died at Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, D.C., on May 16, 1925; interment in Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo.

I'm fairly sure this fellow is ours because General Joseph Spencer's wife was a Selden and he's from Connecticut. I haven't quite placed this fellow in a tree, yet, however. There are several other Spencers that have served in Congress, but they came from points further west so can't tell if they relate to us. See ancestry.com

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William Augustus Spencer - Titanic Passenger
He is shown on this Titanic passenger list. According to an unverified source, William Augustus Spencer was 4xg grandson of immigrant William and Agnes (Harris) Spencer. (Look under first class passengers, or do a search.)

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William Brainerd Spencer - Civil War Veteran, Congressman, Lousiana Supreme Court
"SPENCER, William Brainerd, a Representative from Louisiana; born on "Home Plantation," in Catahoula Parish, La., February 5, 1835; received his early schooling under private tutors; was graduated from Centenary College, Jackson, La.,  in 1855 and from the law department of the University of Louisiana at New Orleans in 1857; was admitted to the bar in  1857 and commenced practice in Harrisonburg, La.; served in the Confederate Army, with the rank of captain, until 1863,  when he was captured; remained a prisoner of war at Johnsons Island, Ohio, until the close of the Civil War; resumed the  practice of law in Vidalia, La., in 1866; successfully contested as a Democrat the election of Frank Morey to the  Forty-fourth Congress and served from June 8, 1876, to January 8, 1877, when he resigned to accept a judicial  appointment; appointed associate justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court January 9, 1877, which position he held until his resignation April 3, 1880; again resumed the practice of law in New Orleans, La.; died in Jalapa, Mexico, February 12, 1882; interment in Magnolia Cemetery, Baton Rouge, La."

Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1949, page 1848

I have seen a genealogy of this William back to Gerrard, but it is somewhat confusing on a couple of links, still exploring that.

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Harriet (Beecher) Stowe

Following is the lineage from immigrant William Spencer to Harriet (Beecher) Stowe, authoress of "Uncle Tom's Cabin". Note, her maiden name was Beecher, married name Stowe:

Tennessee Williams
Related Links:
Return to the Spencer Index

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