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  • ID: I04306 View Post-em!
  • Name: Burwell Spence 1
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 1763 in Bedford Co., VA
  • Death: 23 MAR 1844 in Carroll Co., VA 2
  • Burial: probably the Old Spence Cemetery, off state road 654 (Laurel Fork Church Road), Carroll Co., VA 3
  • Reference Number: 4306
  • Note:
    "Burwell was drafted into the Revolution in 1781 in Surry County, North Carolina near the end of the War. He served 3 months and was discharged honorably. He was in the front line of militia in the Battle of Eutaw Springs, SC. He then moved to Montgomery County, Virginia, where he was drafted again in 1782 for another tour. He was stationed at Fort Whitten in present day, Tazewell County, VA. Upon his 2nd honorable discharge he moved to Ashe County, North Carolina. After 5 years he returned to Montgomery County, VA, which was then the Grayson County area, which later became Carroll County in 1842, where he resided until his death.

    "From pension application in 1843 'Not long after joining General Greene's forces, we marched upon and gave battle to the British at the Eutaw Springs. Here we had hard fighting. General Greene's army was drawn up in two lines. As near as I can remember the first was the militia, and the other line were Continental troops. The militia fell in with a party of the British in advance of the main body, who we continued to pursue and fired upon until the fight became lost, and the whole militia line were forced to fall back. The Continental line charged the British and compelled them to give way in all directions, and Colonel Campbell fell mortally wounded when leading in the charge.' " (courtesy of Carolyn Spence, her Spence site, 2005)

    In May 2005, Carolyn Spence wrote the Spence List: "We have some news! A descendant of Andrew Spence, born circa 1786 in Donegal, Ireland matches 10 out of 12 markers with 3 other Spence families: a descendant of John Spence, born 1851 Springfield, IL, a descendant of William Spence born 1800 Cumberland, NC, and descendants of Burwell Spence, b. 1763 Bedford Co VA."

    This might begin to put Burwell's family in Ireland before its coming to America.

    Burwell and John Spence I think are brothers, but it is not proved at all.

    The information below, and much of my Spences, is from the generous help of Carolyn Spence. On her web page she says to contact her at .

    First, Burwell's will --

    ________________________________________

    CARROLL COUNTY VIRGINIA WILL- Transcribed by Carolyn Spence-

    Will of Burwell (sometimes Burrell ) Spence
    April 1844 proved by one witness & cont. May 1844 fully proved and ordered recorded.

    In the name of God Amen. I, Burwell Spence of the County of Carroll and the State of Virginia do make ordain and constitute this my Last Will and Testament and knowing the uncertainty of all human events and being of sound mind and disposing, dispose or mean and desirious of my estate which providence hath given me.
    First, I give unto my loving wife, Nancy Spence, all of my estate real and personal. Beds and furniture, household and kitchen furniture and all stocks of every kind and all of my money which I have, shall I receive here after which is left after my death during her natural life and for my wife, Nancy Spence, is to have full control of all of my estate and she is fully authorized to dispose of it as she wishes as her own property to any person which shall be binding in Law and equity.
    Secondly, I leave nothing to my children namely Isham Spence, Drury Spence, Uriah Spence, Joseph Spence, John Spence, James Spence, Elisabeth Spence, Mary Spence, and Lewis Spence.
    Lastly, I ordain and constitute my loving brother John Cock, executor of this my Last Will and Testament hereby revoking all other Wills and Testament heretofore made by me in witness here of I, Burwell Spence have here unto set my hand and seal June 3rd day 1843.

    Burwell ( X) Spence

    Signed, sealed and delivered in presence of us.
    W. Jackson
    Lucindy (X) Thomas

    April 1844
    John Cock, Sr.

    VIRGINIA: CARROLL COUNTY COURT MAY TERM 1844

    This writing purporting to be the Last Will and Testament of Burwell Spence, deceased, having been proved at the April Term of this Court, by the oath of Lucinda Thomas a subscribing witness hereto, was fully proved in the Court by the oath of William Jackson and certified by John Cock and John Stanley Justices of the Peace of the County of Carroll and was ordered to be recorded.

    Testator, William Lindsey
    Clerk of Court
    Carroll County to wit.
    This day the undersigned Justices of the Peace for the county aforesaid exhibited to William Jackson witness purporting to be the Last Will and Testament of Burwell Spence to which writing the said William Jackson is a subscribing witness but unable from age and infirmity to attend Court and the said William Jackson made oath before us that the said Burwell Spence the Testator acknowledged the said writing to be his Last Will and Testament and was at the time of sound mind and disposing mind and memory and that he the William Jackson attested the same in the presence and at the request of the said Testators. Given under my hands and seals this 9th day of April 1844.

    John Stanley

    John Cock
    __________________________________

    Then this from Carolyn:

    "Burwell was drafted into the Revolution in 1781 in Surry County, North Carolina near the end of the War. He served 3 months and was discharged honorably. He was in the front line of militia in the Battle of Eutaw Springs, SC. He then moved to Montgomery County, Virginia, where he was drafted again in 1782 for another tour. He was stationed at Fort Whitten in present day Tazewell County, VA. Upon his 2nd honorable discharge he moved to Ashe County, North Carolina. After 5 years he returned to Montgomery County, VA, which was then the Grayson County area, which later became Carroll County in 1842, where he resided until his death. From pension application in 1843 'Not long after joining General Greene's forces, we marched upon and gave battle to the British at the Eutaw Springs. Here we had hard fighting. General Greene's army was drawn up in two lines. As near as I can remember the first was the militia, and the other line were Continental troops. The militia fell in with a party of the British in advance of the main body, who we continued to pursue and fired upon until the fight became lost, and the whole militia line were forced to fall back. The Continental line charged the British and compelled them to give way in all directions, and Colonel Campbell fell mortally wounded when leading in the charge.'

    "He is by tradition buried in the "old Spence Cemetery" off state road 654, the Laurel Fork Church Road. Isham's cemetery is on state road 634. Carolyn Spence, ."

    Carolyn adds (in April 2005) this fascinating bit:

    ".....it dawned on me yesterday that perhaps Burwell was named for a place, and lo and behold, I did find a village named Burwell in Cambridgeshire, England. This village dates back to at least the Roman Empire, and Burwell means "a spring by the burh" or spring by the fort. There is a Burwell Castle and Burwell House and everything in this village. Google it if you want to read more. I found that the names Palmer and Jennings are native, but haven't found a list of other names common to the area. Some believe that the family surnamed Burwell may have taken their surname from the place named Burwell.

    "Here's some data from web searches: An Anglo-Saxon fort which probably gave the village the name, 'spring by the burh', recorded from the late 10th century, may have stood, preceding the 12th century Burwell castle, near Spring close west of the church.

    "From: 'Burwell', A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume X: Cheveley, Flendish, Staine and Staploe Hundreds (north-eastern Cambridgeshire) (2002), pp. 334-41.

    "From Domesday Book of 1086 A.D.: Burwell (Burewelle): Abbot of Ramsey. 10 hides and 1 virgate. Land for 16 ploughs. 42 villagers, 8 slaves. 2 mills. Total value 16; TRE 20. In lordship of St Benedict's Church. "

    Carolyn adds the following in August 2005:

    "DNA news! The results for a descendant of Isham Spence, son of Burwell match 12/12 with the descendant of John Spence of Tazewell Co Virginia!

    "We know that Burwell's 2nd wife Nancy Thomas moved to Tazewell Co VA after Burwell died. Beginning in the 1830 census, we find Spence families in Tazewell that we believed to be descendants of Burwell. By 1850 we can identify some of them with no doubt. There were 2 John Spences of about the same age in Tazewell census records in 1850. One of these John Spence's had a son Benjamin born circa 1824, and John and Benjamin had adjoining land that I believe is now in Wyoming Co WV, but was Tazewell Co then. I first met Jean Glass online about 1995-1996 and she descended from Benjamin and believed that Benjamin's father John (who married Mary Woosley in Grayson Co) was the son of Burwell Spence. John died about 1854 in Tazewell Co. Benjamin died ten years later. All the available data pointed to the above being correct, but we could find no written proof of it.

    "The dna results are that a descendant of Isham Spence of Carroll Co is a 100% match with a descendant of Benjamin of Tazewell, so that validates our theory and prior research beyond a shadow of a doubt. Where no paper documentation existed that we know of, the dna has proven our research to be correct.

    "We now have a specific set of numbers that any future Spence can easily match to verify being descended from Burwell.. If a family is still floating around unconnected, dna can be used to help them match up. There are still families in Tazewell that need to test, as Burwell's sons James and Joseph and Drury were there also.

    "We also have a set of numbers that identifies the Bluford branch, so if one has a Tazewell Spence history, they can test and finally know from which Spence family they descended from.

    "At some point in the future I expect that DAR will also accept dna testing as proof of descent. Carolyn"

    This letter was posted on the Spence-Bluford List site at Rootsweb in October 2005:

    "I wrote you before about Lucy Spence, and her possible mother, Elizabeth Spence. I have been going through my grandmother's things, and I found a letter that some Spence may be interested in. I think the postmark on the letter is from 1944, and to my grandmother, Nora Welch, from someone named Mrs. S.S. Lower who lived in Lewiston, Utah.

    " 'Burwell Spence - a 1st cousin to Sarah Spence born 13 Jun 1840 (Ms. Lower's grandmother) lived in the Colorado New Mexico border in the 1870's. He, his wife, son, and daughter visited with the William S. Litz family in Ogden, Utah in 1870 or 71 or 72 while they lived there. Burwell above had a beard that would touch the floor. When working, he always rolled it up and put it inside his shirt. He was a
    bald-headed man. I judge that was why he enjoyed his whiskers.'

    "This same paper says that Burwell Spence born in Bedford Co. abt 1763 and John Spence were brothers. I did think that maybe you could identify which Burwell this was and maybe pass it on. I would be interested in knowing about a beard like that on my ancestor. - Patra Anne"

    Carolyn Spence adds that ".... I think they were writing of Drury's son Burwell who had the long beard. Lucy was Lucy Spence McGrady, the eldest Burwell's sister."

    The same or another fragment of a letter published by Carolyn notes:

    "Forwarding more excerpts from the 1944 Letter....

    "I don't know if it is a good or bad thing, but I usually find the same thing in these letters - that my grandmother had sent them more info than they had sent my grandmother. The woman signed her name as Oka L. Lower, and I just hope this did something to help someone. I don't know if any of this will help anyway - it is quite random.This first part is said to have come from Mary Paulina Litz Jacobson's records....

    "Burwell Spence and Rebecca Puckett - I can't read the first child.

    Is it Isum? Spence He was born in VA. and died 13 Jun 1852. He married Nancy Minter
    - Hurai Spence born in VA. married Sarah Boman.
    - Drury Spence born in VA and
    - William Spence born in VA. She did not know if either he or his older brother married.
    - Joseph Spence born in VA. married Ann Bond
    - James Spence born in VA married Nancy Watson
    - Burwell Spence born in VA. died 11 or 12 years old.
    - Louis Spence born in VA. married Frances Boman
    - Martha Spence married John Puckett
    - Mary Spence born 28 Feb 80? in Carroll Co.
    -Virginia - common law - Preston Cox
    - Rebecca Spence born in VA
    - Elizabeth Spence in VA. named in Burwell Spence's will in 1844."




    Father: Spence* b: ABT 1740

    Marriage 1 Rebecca Puckett b: ABT 1771 in VA
    • Married: 1791 in Grayson Co., VA 4
    Children
    1. Has No Children Isham Spence b: ABT 1792 in VA
    2. Has No Children Drury Spence b: ABT 1796 in VA
    3. Has No Children Burwell Spence b: ABT 1797
    4. Has No Children William Spence b: ABT 1798
    5. Has No Children Benjamin Spence b: ABT 1799
    6. Has No Children Uriah Spence b: 1800
    7. Has No Children Mary Ann Spence b: 28 FEB 1801 in Carroll Co., VA
    8. Has No Children Joseph Spence b: ABT 1802 in VA
    9. Has No Children Elizabeth Spence b: ABT 1804
    10. Has No Children John Spence b: ABT 1805
    11. Has No Children Virginia Spence b: ABT 1808
    12. Has No Children James Spence b: 1809
    13. Has No Children Martha Spence b: ABT 1811
    14. Has No Children Lewis Preston Spence b: 29 AUG 1813 in VA
    15. Has No Children Rebecca Spence b: ABT 1814 in VA

    Marriage 2 Nancy Thomas b: ABT 1780 in ?
    • Married: 7 JUL 1831 in Grayson Co., VA

    Sources:
    1. Title: Carolyn Spence, SpenceTop@aol.com, January, 2001
    2. Title: I have seen his death also as 23 Mar 1840
    3. Title: Carolyn Spence, op. cit., June, 2003
    4. Title: See note from Lisa
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