John (b.4-20-1666–d.1743) and Audrey (née Greene) Spencer (12-27-1667–d.4-17-1733)
John Spencer (b.4-20-1666–d.1743) was the first child of John and Susannah (née Griffin) Spencer. Naming the first son after the father was very common at that time in history. [John had seven brothers and one sister who all grew to adulthood (which was quite unusual at that time considering the primitive medical practices)]. John moved with his family to East Greenwich in 1677, where he spent the remainder of his life.
John was a cordwainer (a shoemaker) by trade. He was also an influential figure in the public affairs of East Greenwich for many years. He represented the town in the General Assembly several different times between 1699 to 1729. He was a Justice of the Peace in 1704. He was also a speaker of the House of Deputies from 1712 to 1749.
Actual quote of above with colonial language from RootsWeb.com: “John was a cordwainer by trade. Removing to East Greenwich with his father in 1677, he spent the remainder of his life there, and was an influential figure in public affairs for many years. In 1699-1700-04-05-09-14-24-26-29 he represented the town in the General Assembly. In 1704 he was justice of the peace. In 1712-19 he was speaker of the House of Deputies.”
John married Audrey Green (born 1667) in 1692 in Kent, East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Audrey Mae (born 1912) was named after her great (7 times) grandmother, Audrey (née Green) Spencer. With this marriage, the Green (aka Greene) name came into Edith Anna’s, John Edward’s (“Ed’s”) and Audrey Mae’s family line.
Audrey Green’s Ancestry Line:
Audrey Green descends from the same John Green that General Nathanael Green descends from! (In David McCullough’s book 1776, he writes that George Washington said if he were ever killed or captured, he wanted General Nathanael Green to take his place in the Continental army! “General Nathaneal Greene would be the most qualified person to lead the Continental Army”.) Audrey Green descends from John Green who in 1635 sailed from England to Salem, Massachusetts. John Green came to Rhode Island a few years later, following Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island. (Unlike other early colonials, Roger Williams did not just take the land from the Native Americans. Roger Williams bought the land from the Indians. This fact makes Rhode Islanders very proud of him as their founder.)
John Green married Joan Tattersall. “He was one of the 12 original proprietors of Providence; founded Warwick in 1643 and was commissioner to England in 1644.” The three Spencer children, Audrey Mae, John Edward (“Ed”) and Edith Anna descend from John and Joan (née Tattersall) Greene’s son, John Greene, Jr. whereas Nathanael descends from their other son, James Greene.
Audrey Mae’s parents made her very proud of that fact that she was named after her great (7 times) grandmother, Audrey Greene. Audrey Mae often repeated this fact many times to her children. Also, she was very proud that she descended from the same ancestors, ,John and Joan (née Tattersall) Greene, that General Nathanael Greene descended from. There were only two Generals, both New Englanders, that stayed with George Washington from the beginning to the end of the American Revolution and General Nathanael Greene was one of them!
John married Audrey (née Greene, aka Green) in 1692 in Kent, East Greenwich, Rhode Island (Ancestry.com). With the marriage of Audrey, the Greene (aka Green) and Almy ancestry came into the Spencer line. According to RootsWeb.com, Audrey is the daughter of John Greene, Jr. and Ann (née Almy) Greene. John Greene, Audrey’s father, was major of militia, and Deputy Governor of the Colony. He was the son of Surgeon John Greene, of Warwick,who was the first John Greene in “the new world”(aka America).
Found in Audrey Mae (née Spencer) MacDonald’s papers is a copy of the Greene Coat-of Arms.
Audrey Green’s father was “John Greene, Maj. Born August 15th, 1620 in Salisbury, Wiltshire, Eng. c: 15 Aug. 1620 in St. Thomas’s Ch. Salisbury, Wiltshire, Eng.” Audrey Green’s mother was: “Ann (Agnes, Annis) Almy. Born February 26, 1627 in South Kilworth, Leicester, England, England c: 26 Feb 27 in South Kilworth, Leicester, England” (Ancestry. Com World Tree)
Ancestry. Com’s Ancestry World Tree has Audrey Green’s birth date in 10-27-1667 whereas other records give December as the birth month. More research is needed.
The Greenes of Rhode Island with Historical Records of English Ancestry, a book–DOES NOT CIRCULATE– located in the East Greenwich Free Library and the Rhode Island Historical Society gives us information on John Spencer, as well as Audrey Greene. By marrying into the Greene family, John Spencer’s ancestry was also included in this Greene ancestry book. Therefore, Audrey Mae, John Edward (“Ed”) and Edith Anna are Green descendants, as well as Spencer descendants, but the three children carried on the Spencer name as surname.
The reference above on page 176 refers to a Captain Rufus Spencer’s ancestry. His ancestry is the same as our John Spencer so web site author included that above. John Edward (“Ed”), Edith Anna, and Audrey Mae do not have Captain Rufus Spencer in their direct ancestry.
John and Susannah (née Griffin) Spencer had eight sons and all lived to adulthood, so the Spencer name is even in the East Greenwich area of Rhode Island today! (2013).
From the above information, we read that John was very much a leader in his community. He was, therefore, very much like his father, John Spencer. John, Jr. “was Deputy for many years between 1699 and 1729; Justice of the Peace, 1704; and Speaker of the House of Deputies , 1712-29” and he married Audrey who was the daughter of Deputy Governor John Greene.
John and his seven brothers and one sister grew to adulthood. This was quite unusual as many infants and children died as only the strong would survive given the primitive health care facilities.
Notice that Audrey was spelled as Auderey in the Vital Records of Rhode Island. Web site author does not know whether this is a typing error or whether Audrey was spelled with another “e”. Also, in Genealogy of the Spencer Family, printed by Albert H. Spencer in 1956, Audrey’s name is spelled Audra. There are women named Audra in Spencer lines. More research is needed.
Martha McPartland’s book The History of East Greenwich, Rhode Island, page 269, additional information on John and his siblings
The burial place of John and Audrey (née Green) is not known to this web site author and more research is needed to find out where their land was. In colonial Rhode Island, land owners had their own family cemeteries on their own land.
Audrey Mae, John Edward (“Ed”), and Edith Anna descend from John and Audrey’s second son, William, who married Elizabeth Rice.
“Spencer descendants, if you have any additional information on John and Audrey (née Green) Spencer please add a comment to this web site and the web site editor will add this to the site. Thanks!”