SPEER, SPEAR, SPEIRE, SPEERE, SPERRA, FAMILY GENEALOGY of Scotland to Ulster, Ireland to San Francisco, U.S.A in 1883

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  • ID: I12701
  • Name: Robert Spear
  • Given Name: Robert
  • Surname: Spear
  • Sex: M
  • Death: in of Lancaster Co., PA 1
  • _UID: D46EA2A46FB34C3FB06C3A21392753A1000B
  • Change Date: 9 Apr 2015 at 09:55
  • Note:

    The first settlement was made by Scotch-Irish--an overflow from Donegal--along Big Chikis, and by Mennonites who kept advancing up Little Conestoga and its western branches until they met the former, a few miles east of Chikis Creek. ROBERT SPEAR located on Big Chikis Creek, upon land now owned by Christian Hostetter and M. S. Musser. He was a Scotch-Irish Presbyterian, and a member of Donegal Church. His grandson, Robert Spear, erected the large stone mansion upon the Musser farm. He became a large landholder. He was appointed a justice of the peace by Governor Thomas McKean about the year 1807, and was in commission more than forty years. He moved to Columbia in 1814 or 1815, and became a prominent citizen.

    Source: History of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, with Biographical Sketches of Many of its Pioneers and Prominent Men Chapter LVIII West Hempfield Township; By Samuel Evans, Esq. page 877


    Both Dorcas grandparent parents came from Donegal, Ireland (Spear and Galibraith). The exact dates are not known but some where between 1710 and 1715 is my best guess. My mother was a Spear and that is where I have done most of my research. I decend from Robert Spear (1716) who was believed to have been born in Lancaster Co. (was Chester Co. at the time). William Spear who daughter married William Patterson was his brother. As a side note, the Pattersons where from Donegal, Ireland and there are cross links between my extend family in America plus N. S., Canada. I assume that my orginal family who where Presbyterian left Ireland since the Church of England took over and thus the Episcopal church was not kind to them since they would not convert. I have so many notes but I have been having problems with "Vista" on my new compter that I cannot locate all of them. There are web sites in Baltimore, MD and Lancaster Co., PA with search engines where one can find more info on William Spear. The following gives some of what I found on my orginal family:
    Most Scotch-Irish coming to the Pennsylvania arrived at New Castle, Delaware and there were little or no records kept as to the arrivals. In 1722 the English mandated that the Irish kept records of those going to America. The following records come from those records and are not arrival records. I assume that they made a list of those who that knew had already come to America and dated them for the year of 1722. The reason is that according to historical records of Lancaster County show both of the individuals had arrived there 7 to 10 years before.

    Name: Robert Spear
    Year: 1722
    Place: Pennsylvania
    Family Members: Relative Robert
    Source Publication Code: 648.10
    Primary Immigrant: Spear, John
    Annotation: Date and port of arrival, date and place of settlement, or date of request for emigration with intended destination; a few are date and place of mention of residence in New World. In appendices, pages 317-377, indexer assumed all names listed had immigrated.
    Source Bibliography: BOLTON, CHARLES KNOWLES. Scotch Irish Pioneers in Ulster and America. Boston: Bacon and Brown, 1910. Reprint. Heritage Books, Bowie, MD, 1989. 398p.
    Page: 271

    Name: James Galbraith
    Year: 1722
    Place: Pennsylvania
    Family Members: Son Andrew; Son James; Son John
    Source Publication Code: 648.10
    Primary Immigrant: Galbraith, James, Sr.
    Annotation: Date and port of arrival, date and place of settlement, or date of request for emigration with intended destination; a few are date and place of mention of residence in New World. In appendices, pages 317-377, indexer assumed all names listed had immigrated.
    Source Bibliography: BOLTON, CHARLES KNOWLES. Scotch Irish Pioneers in Ulster and America. Boston: Bacon and Brown, 1910. Reprint. Heritage Books, Bowie, MD, 1989. 398p.
    Page: 271

    This implies that a James Galbraith with family and a John and Robert Spear might have come to America on the same boat since they are on the same page. Both came from Donegal, Ireland; implies that they could have been friends over there.

    The following article was originally written by Samuel EVANS, Esq. Of Columbia and was presented at the 8th Congress of the Scotch-Irish Society of America, which was held in Harrisburg, (PA.) in 1896: In the years 1718, 1719, and 1720 a large number of Scotch-Irish from Donegal and Derry, in Ireland, arrived at New Castle, Delaware. They were all Presbyterians, and evidently had been well educated. They were a stalwart race, and fitted to found a new settlement in the wilderness of Pennsylvania. They at once pushed forward to the Conestoga River, then the frontier line. After arriving there they forced the line ten miles farther back into the wilderness, along Chicques Creek and the streams running into it. They selected from two to three hundred acres each, and immediately commenced the erection of log dwellings, after which the next and most important of their acts was to organization of the infant community into a Presbyterian congregation.

    The following is the list of the settlers prior to 1722:
    James GALBRAITH Sr. and his sons, Andrew, James, and John
    Robert WILKINS and his sons, Thomas, William, Peter and John
    Gordon HOWARD and his sons, Thomas and Joseph
    George STEUART, Esq. and his son, John ......................
    Peter ALLEN
    James RODDY, and James
    And Alexander HUTCHINSON
    John and Robert SPEAR ...........................................................
    Hugh, Henry and Moses WHITE
    Robert McFARLAND and his sons, Robert and James
    Richard ALLISON
    Patrick CAMPBELLL
    Robert MIDDLETON
    Thomas BAYLY
    James SMITH
    Three Samuel SMITHS
    James KYLE
    James MITCHELL
    Thomas MITCHELL
    Benjamin STERRETT
    Joseph WORK
    Ephraim LYTLE
    David Mc CLURE
    Samuel FULTON
    Alexander McKLEAN
    Robert BUCHANNAN
    Arthur BUCHANNAN
    James CUNNINGHAM ................
    William MAYBEE
    William HAY
    Henry BAILEY
    John TAYLOR
    William BRYAN
    John KARR
    Malcom KARR
    Edward DOUGHERTY
    John SCOTT
    Hugh SCOTT



    Presbyterians in Chester county (early) Scotch Irish Pioneers in Ulster and America, Chapter XIV, Scotch Irish in Donegal, Derry and Neshaminy, Page 271
    Early settlers in Chester County (some mentioned were James Galbraith Sr. with sons Andrew, James and John; George Stuart and son John; Richard Allison; John and Robert Spear) who were named as being there in 1722.
    The number of settlers who came from Donegal and Derry between 1722 and 1730 was very large. There were several Indian towns within the limits of Donegal when it was erected into a township in 1722, and in their vicinity were located several French Indian traders, among whom were BIZALLION, LE TORT, CHARTIERE, and MARIANDA. Our Scotch-Irish settlers soon discovered the possibilities of accumulating a competency more rapidly than by farming, by engaging in the Indian trade. The following are the names of those who embarked in this enterprise: Robert WILKINS, William WILKINS, Thomas WILKINS, Peter WILKINS, John WILKINS, James SMITH, two Samuel SMITHS, Gordon and Thomas HOWARD, Patrick CAMPBELL, Jonas DAVENPORT, James PATERSON, John GALBRAITH, Thomas HARRIS, Lazarus LOWPEY, James HARRIS, John KELLY, Thomas MITCHELL, and Henry BAILEY. These men blazed their way across the mountains as early as 1727, to trade with the Indians along the Ohio. They and their sons continued to carry on this profitable but dangerous business for many years. They traveled from the lakes to the Mississippi, and south to the Catawaba Indians. They were the pioneers that led the way for the actual settlers.

    The Pennsylvania traders became so numerous, and their influence with the western Indians so great, that the French became jealous of their power, and finally incited many of the tribes to a war of extermination against the English traders. These traders of Donegal suffered great losses, but many of them continued in the business and grew rich.

    Andrew Galbraith was an Elder in Donegal Presbyterian Church in 1721. Note 126-4
    Many of the Scotch-Irish who originally settled in Pennsylvania, travelled the wilderness road to the South, where their descendants are now found. Prior to 1730, in Donegal, are found the names of John, Patrick and William Allison, John Davidson, John, William and Robert Spear and their sons. Note 126-5
    Little is know of the original Robert Spear nor his brother John Spear. We know that the land above was handed down to his son, Robert Spear (born 1716 Lancaster Co.) and to his son, John Spear. I can find no will listed for him. His wife is unknown but a will found in Cumberland County for Joseph Spear shows that he had at least four children: Robert, William, Joseph and Sarah
    Joseph Spear (An Indian Trader)

    Will of Joseph Spear deceased
    "In the name of God, Amen. I Joseph Spear of Carlisle in the County of Cumberland and State of Pennsylvania being sick and weak in body, but of Sound and disposing mind and undrstanding do make thismy testament and last will as follows, to wit:

    First: I order my body to be buried in the same grave where I buried my beloved wife Mary or as near it as may be and under the tomb stone which I laid over her body and my name to be cut on the Same Stone when any workmancan be got to do it at the expense of my estate.

    Secondly, I order all my just debts and funeral expense out of my estateby my Executors herein after named as soon as they can raise money out of my estate for that purpose.

    Thirdly, I order all my personal estate to be sold at public vendue by my Executor as soon as it my be convenient after my decease,

    Fourthly, I order my dwelling house and lot be sold by my executors at such time as it shall appear to my Executors to be the most ..line missing.. of them to execute and acknoledge a conveyance for the same to the buyer as fully as I could do in my life time on the payment of the purchase money thereof.

    Fifthly, I give and bequeath to my SISTER SARAH the sum of thirty pounds to be paid her by my Executors can raise money out of the Sale of my personal estate to buy her mourning??

    Sixthly, I give and bequeath to my DAUGHTER ANN my silver cream pot tea tongs and tea spoons and her mother's wearing apparel to be ....... to herby her guardian when she shall think it fit and prudent?? to wear them, also my bible which was her grandmother's to be delivered to her by my Executors and I recommend to her diligently and carefully to ... use it, and observe it.

    Seventhly, I give and bequeath to my two SONS JOHN and JOSEPH all my wearing apparel that can be made to fit for their use eually to be divided between them and also a bible to be purchased for each of them by my Executors out of my personal estate and I recommend to them the diligent and careful ..... of their bibles and to observe the Contents. I do order my Executors to call on .....Thompsons Executors for eight hundred pounds of Con... money or value thereof being the balance of the purchase money due to me for land I sold to him.

    Ninethly All the .... proceeds of my estate herein before directed to be sold and the residue of my estate , both real and personal I do give devise and bequeath to my three foresaid namely ANN, JOHN and JOSEPH Spear and share alike and to them their heirs and assigns forever.

    Tenthly, I do appoint my BROTHER ROBERT SPEAR of Donnigal in Lancaster County guardian over the person and estate of my Daughter ANN .

    Eleventhly, I so appoint my BROTHER WILLIAM SPEAR of Baltimore and hes son John Spear of Baltimore guardians over the persons and estate of my Sons JOHN and JOSEPH

    Twelvethly, And lastly I do nominate constitute and appoint my friends James Pollock, Thomas Alexander and George Stevenson of Carlisle Executors of this my last will and testament here by revoking all former wills and testament by me made and satifying and confirming this only to be my testament and last will. Dated the 22th day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty one. sig, sealed published .... ..... and declared by JOSEPH SPEAR the testator as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us who have subscribed our names as witness hereunto in his presence at his request and in presence of each other

    JOS. SPEAR (seal)

    John Holmes
    Wm Holmes
    John Creigh

    Be it remembered that on the 4th day of January Anon Dominic 1802 the last will and testament of JOSEPH SPEAR late of the town of Carlisle County of Cumberland State of Pennsylvania deceased now legally proved of which the foregoing record is a true copy and letters testamentary issued to James Pollock and Thomas Alexander two of the executors there in names in Common form on the fifth day of August one thousand seven hundred and eighty four. Witness my hand William L..on Register
    Transposed by Drew Johnston (best he can do).

    We know for various records that Robert Spear resided in Donegal at the time of the will and that William Spear and his son had moved to Baltimore (About 1752) before the dating of the will. From the Donegal Church, we can see an Ann Spear with Robert Spear (born 1716).
    Robert Spear did not mention Ann Spear in his will dated 1800.
    As for the original Robert Spear parents; maybe but they did not come to
    Robert Spear
    BORN ABT: 1663
    Egle's Notes and Queries of Pennsylvania, 1700s-1800s
    Fourth Series Volume II, Notes and Queries - CXXXIV, Page 193
    If true then our original Robert Spear in America was born about 1686.
    The Donegal Presbyterian Church, church services held as early as 1714, East Donegal Township, Lancaster, PA.
    Hugh, Henry and Moses WHITE
    Robert McFARLAND and his sons, Robert and James
    Richard ALLISON
    Patrick CAMPBELLL
    Robert MIDDLETON
    Thomas BAYLY
    James SMITH
    Three Samuel SMITH
    James KYLE
    James MITCHELL
    Thomas MITCHELL
    Benjamin STERRETT
    Joseph WORK
    Ephraim LYTLE

    Several referrences in the history of Lancaster and the following one on Robert Spear as to his wife but it is probably not true, most likely it was Robert Spear's son William who married Elizabeth Galbraith as below:
    Author: Hanna, Charles A. (Charles Augustus), 1863-1950
    Chapter V. The Early Traders of Conestoga, Donegal, and Paxtang (p. 161)
    Page 175
    ... e, and, about I742, Sheriff of Lancaster County. He died in 1787, aged eighty-three years. His son, John Galbraith, also established a trading post at the mouth of Conoy Creek, before I760. He afterwa ...... ding post at the mouth of Conoy Creek, before I760. He afterwards removed to the Cumberland Valley. John Galbraith's granddaughter, Dorcas Spear (daughter of Robert and Elizabeth Galbraith Spear) married ... THIS HAS PROVED TO BE UNTRUE! SHE WAS THE DAU. OF WILLIAM AND ELIZABETH.
    Egle's Notes and Queries of Pennsylvania, 1700s-1800s
    1. Elizabeth , m. Robert Spear
    2. Mary , m. Cook .
    3. Janet , m. James Work .
    4. Barbara , m. Allison .
    5. Isabella , d. prior to her father; m., 1764 , married Capt. William Patterson , and had one child, Galbraith Patterson .
    6. ii. Robert , b. 1716 ; m. Rebecca .
    iii. Elizabeth .
    iv. Margaret .
    v. Rebecca .
    vi. Eleanor .
    John Galbraith's will mention Elizabeth Galbraith Spear but no first name (Robert or William) but if our original Robert was married to Elizabeth he was about 70 and she was 18.
    David Hays purchased 500 acres of land near Donegal, Lancaster county, in what is now Rapho township. This land was on the west side of the Big Chickies creek, opposite Robert Spear's farm. He was a trustee of the Donegal Church for twelve years, and on a marble tablet in that church is recorded "Patent from John, Thomas and Richard Penn to the trustee, Rev. James Anderson, John Allison, Jas. Mitchell and David Hays, June 4th, 1740." David Hays died in May, 1770, leaving a wife Jean and five children: Mrs. Alex Scott, John, Robert, Patrick and David. His executors were sons Robert and Patrick, and son-in-law Alex. Scott. [Notes and Queries, Vol. II, p. 264.] There are still living descendants of their branch of the family, but they are extinct in Lancaster county, the last of the name dying at Marietta in 1847.
    After searching all the early assessments of that portion of Dauphin county, from 1725 to 1790, we are inclined to think the following list comprises most, if not all, the heads of families of this congregation from 1745-55. All the names are on the tax list from 50. CONEWAGO CHURCH.
    1750 to 1766; many for twenty years previously. After the Revolution they
    disappear year by year, and names of other nationalities take their places:
    Alexander Bence, Richard Grice, Thomas M'Kee, Thomas Bowman, Hugh Hall, Robert M'Kee,
    John Bowman, Widow Hall, John M'Queen,
    Abraham Bidgot, John Hall, Joseph M'Queen,
    Thomas Breese, Thomas Hall, James M'Queen,
    Hugh Black, Jebel Hall, Edward Queen,
    Peter Corby, James Hall, Cornelius Queen,
    James Crouch, John Kerr, James Rea,
    James Clarke, Thomas Kar, John Rea, [or Wray,]
    Hugh Clark, Malcolm Karr, William Rea,
    Rowland Chambers, Thomas Lenox, Thomas Rutherford,
    Arthur Chambers, Tho. Mitchell, William Shaw,
    Robert Chambers, Peter Murdoch, Robert Spear (This is probably the grave of Robert Spear's (1716) father, Robert II will this land to John Spear)
    Joseph Candor, Robert Murdoch, Adam Thomas,
    Thomas Clark, James Murdoch, Tho. Wallace,
    John Combe, John Murdoch, William White,
    George Davidson, Neil M'Allister, Archibald Walker,
    John Doakes, John M'Allister, James Walker,
    Arch'd Elliott, John M'Nair, William Work.
    George Gray,
    The foregoing list of names would show a population of about two hundred in 1740. That part of Dauphin county we are writing of was originally the township of Derry, in Lancaster county, and "set off" at the first court in 1729. In 1768 a part of Derry was "set off" and called Londonderry, "commencing by a road leading from Conewago creek by the Widow Hall's, &c. In 1826 rectification of lines was ordered, when finally, in 1850, Conewago township was "set off" from the east end of Londonderry, leaving the site we have been endeavoring to describe, in Londonderry, a short mile north-east of Geinburg, three miles from Middletown, seven miles from Paxtang church, four miles from Derry Spring, and about six miles from Donegal, all noted Presbyterian settlements.
    You will have to study the above since I am not so good with English. Think of it as writen by a math major then it will make some sense.

    Drew Johnston

    -----Original Message-----
    From: George Speer
    To: drewjohnston4 (at) aol.com
    Sent: Sat, 29 Mar 2008 1:30 pm
    Subject: RE: WorldConnect: Post-em posted


    Thank you for contacting me.

    Can you tell me if or where this Dorcas connects into my research?

    Is she from a completely different Speer/Spear line?

    I would always welcome additional research. Please send me the "Will"


    > [Original Message]
    > To: <CuDgenealogy@speer.orgC/uD
    > Date: 3/29/2008 9:47:54 AM
    > Subject: WorldConnect: Post-em posted
    > Database: malise
    > Individual: I6680
    > Link: CuD<http://wc.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=malise&id=I6680>C/uD
    > Name: Drew Johnston
    > Email: CuDdrewjohnston4 (at) aol.comC/uD
    > URL:
    > URL title:
    > Note:
    > Dorcas Spear was the daughter of William Spear and Elizabeth Galbraith
    who came from Lancaster Co., PA.
    > Enle's notes were wrong when he said Elizabeth Galbraith married Robert
    Spear, it was William Spear.
    > William Spear's father was Robert Spear was one of the earlier settlers
    in Lancaster Co., PA which was then Chester Co. This Robert Spear had at
    least three sons: William, Robert and Joseph. William Spear moved to
    Balitmore in the mid 1750's. Robert (II) stay in Lancaster. Joseph was an
    Indian Trade and died in Cumberland Co., PA. From Joseph's will, he
    mentions his brothers: Robert from Lancaster Co., PA and his brother
    William Spear from Baltimore, MD. He had two sons: John and Joseph who were
    to be raised by his brother or his brother's son named John. His daughter
    was to be raised by his brother Robert Spear.
    > Dorcas Spear father was John Galibraith and I think her mother was Dorcas
    > I am doing this by memory but I have Joseph's will and some data on
    William who was a merchant in Baltimore and his move from Lancaster Co.
    > I will send you info if you request
    > Drew Johnston

    Father: Unknown Speer Connections Speer Spear b: 1777

    Marriage 1 Spouse Unknown
    • Married:
    • Change Date: 30 Mar 2008
    1. Has Children William Spear

    1. Abbrev: SPEER Genealogical Work
      Title: The Works of George Presley and Ina G. Hopkins Speer
      Author: George Daniel Speer Sr
      Date: 4 Apr 1994
      Text: This Speer Genealogical Work is dedicated to my Parents; George Presley Speer Jr. and Ina Grace Hopkins. This is the product of their 45 years of Family Records; researched, and assembled by them. It is amazing that they did this, without the use of computers!

      I would like to share a note written by my Father, in my copy of the Hopkins Family Genealogy Book; ((Quote, to;)

      Teresa and G. Daniel Speer Family

      - A Goodly Heritage -
      "Keep thy fathers commandments, and forsake not the Law of thy mother;
      Bind them continually upon thy heart." Proverbs 6: 20-21

      Herein are examples from the lives of goodly people to sustain us, guide us, motivate us and strengthen us to live righteously. We can provide a heritage for our posterity by honoring our name, sharing our testimony and writing personal and family histories.
      Ina & George Speer, Christmas 1987 (end quote))

      With much love and Devotion, your son, George Daniel Speer Sr. April 4, 1994
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