Historical records appear to indicate that the surname Spencer is a very ancient family name from England.  Several historians have suggested that the Spencers came into England from France.  The Spencer surname is said to have come from the French word Despencer meaning “to dispense goods” or “to be a steward of goods.”

Spencer – Coat of Arms

In England, the origin of the surname Spencer can be traced directly to Robert d’Abbetot who  is listed as Robert le Dispenser, a tenant-in-chief of several counties, in the Domesday Book of 1086.  Robert was possibly one of the Norman knights who fought alongside William the Conqueror  in the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

 The first documented member of the Spencer family to come to America was Gerald Spencer who was born in 1614.  Our Spencer family line came to America from Slaidburn, England much later, in 1841, as part of the great Mormon migration.  Slaidburn is a village that lies within the Ribble Valley District of Lancashire England.

The Mormon pioneers were members of the Latter-Day Saints who migrated across the United States to the Salt Lake Valley.  The journey was taken by about 70,000 people.  My Spencer family – and many of my collateral lines took part in this trek across the plains.

  I focus my Spencer research on these individuals and their families:

  • Richard Spencer (1794-1851) and wife Mary Earnshaw – Immigrating ancestors
  • John Henry Spencer (1835-1891) and wife Lucy Lodica Elmer
  • George Francis Spencer (1870-1944) and wife Sarah Elsie Gardner
  • Pearl Eva Spencer (1914-1949) and husband Jose Celestino Montoya

Mormon Wagon Train

In connection with the above-referenced names, I have also done a good bit of research on the families of:

Elias Gardner (1807-1890) and wife Amy Pritchard
Hyrum King Elmer (1816-1909) and wife Lucina Elmer
Alvis Houston Patterson (1826-1899) and wife Martha Fillmore


2 responses to “Spencer

  1. Lisa M Curbow

    September 3, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    My last name is Curbow I am curious as to the origin. I am told we are of French Italian decent I would like to clarify.

    • Judy Curbow

      September 5, 2013 at 11:40 am

      Hi Lisa: Thank you for stopping by the blog and for taking the time to leave a comment. I only know the stories that I have heard from various family members and researchers. I am given to believe that the Curbows came in the mid-1700s from Rotterdam. I have been told that they were French Huguenots from the Alcace Lorraine region of what was then Germany but is now France. I have near heard that the Curbows were Italian. I am facing a brick wall with a ggg-grandfather who was born in Georgia and ended up in Texas. Which Curbow line do you come from? Here is the Curbow surname page from my website: Thanks again for your comment. Judy


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