Category Archives: Generations

1st Generation (John & Susannah)

John (born 1638–died Aug. 30, 1684)


Susannah (née Griffin) (born May, 13, 1644 died April 12, 1719)

Audrey Mae (née Spencer) MacDonald’s (1912-2007) oral tradition begins with this couple, John and Susannah (née Griffin) Spencer.

With John’s marriage to Susannah (aka Susanna), the Griffin ancestry came into the Spencer line. Susannah was the daughter of Robert Griffin.  John and Susannah, originally of Newport, Rhode Island, became founders and early settlers of East Greenwich, Rhode Island  in 1667.

In 1677 John Spencer was granted land “in His Majesty’s Collony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” as recorded in the Act for the Incorporation of East Greenwich. John’s name was first on the list of the Act for the Incorporation of East Greenwich and he was the first town clerk in East Greenwich. He was granted land on Kenyon Avenue, between Division Road and First Avenue.  He was also the first town clerk in East Greenwich.

Founders and Early Settlers of the Town of East Greenwich, Rhode Island 1677-1716

The pictured plaque attached to a boulder is located in front “of the former ‘old jail’, at the foot of King Street in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.” (source: internet)  The asterisk (*) next to the person’s name means “a founder: Granted a first farm lot as compensation for service in the King Philip War 1675-1678″. (source: internet) John Spencer’s name is among the alphabetical list of names on the plaque attached to the Founders’ Stone. He was granted land by the King of England when East Greenwich was incorporated in 1677.

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2nd Generation (John & Audrey)

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 “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.)



Martha McPartland’s book “The History of East Greenwich” page 252

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!

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3rd Generation (William & Elizabeth)

William (b.5-5-1695–d.1776)–Will Probated Dec.30. 1776–and Elizabeth (née Rice, b.5-6-1698–d.1776) Spencer

William is the second son of John and Audrey (née Greene) Spencer. According to, William “born at East Greenwich…was a prominent resident and large land owner there all his life.” William (b.5-5-1695–d.1758) married Elizabeth (née Rice, b.5-6-1698–d.1776) on 5-10-1716. Elizabeth was the daughter of John and Elnathan (née Whipple) Rice of Warwick, Rhode Island. She was the great-granddaughter of Captain Randall and Frances (née Dungan) Holden (page 81, The Greenes of Rhode Island).


Vital Records of Rhode Island, page 66, Marriage of William, second son of John and Audrey Spencer, and Elizabeth Rice, daughter of John Rice of Warwick


In Vital Records of Rhode Island, many Spencer marriages are often performed by John, Thomas or William Spencer who are the Justices.   However on page 66 of Vital Records of Rhode Island, William and Elizabeth were married by a Samuel Greene, Justice.  Since William’s mother’s birth name is Audrey Greene, the Spencers and the Greenes appear to be well connected.

With William and Elizabeth’s marriage, the Rice, the Whipple, the Dungan and the Holden ancestry came into the Audrey Mae, John Edward (“Ed”) and Edith Anna Spencer family line.


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4th Generation (William,Jr. & Mary)

William (b.4-4-1723–d.October 1777) and Mary (née Manchester, b.12-19-1719–d.9-8-1784) Spencer

 William was the third son of William and Elizabeth (née Rice) SpencerWilliam and Mary Manchester were married on August 2, 1744.  Mary was the daughter of John and Mary Manchester.  William and Mary had five daughters and two sons, and were the first Spencer family on the Spencer homestead on Middle Road (current day location around Partridge Run area) in the northwestern area of East Greenwich.   The Spencers farmed this land for one hundred and seventy-two years.  (The map below is of a later date when a descendant of William, a William A. Spencer, was farming the land.) Audrey Mae, John Edward and Edith Anna were the last Spencer children on the farm. Audrey Mae, born March 19, 1912, was the last Spencer baby born on the Spencer homestead.  Descendants, today, still have the deed and still refer to the land as the Spencer Homestead.


Map located at East Greenwich Library, Land of William A. Spencer, South of Middle Road, East of Carr’s Pond (current day, Partridge Run area)

William (and Mary [née Manchester] Spencer) purchased this land which, at that time, included the Straight family cemetery. Two different quotes from local historian, Violet E. Kettelle are “William Spencer Jr. bought this house and land of Joseph Burlingame in 1750.” and  “On April 16, 1750, William Spencer bought the farm from Burlingame.”  Web site author does not know how the Burlingame name is related to Henry Straight name. The cemetery located within this homestead land at the time of the sale has been called by multiple names, such as the Straight family cemetery, the “over back” cemetery, the East Greenwich historical cemetery No. 10, the East Greenwich historical cemetery No. 510, the Straight/Spencer historical cemetery andthe East Greenwich historical cemetery No. 84.

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5th Generation (John & Huldah)

John (b.2-7-1760–d.9-29-1849) and Huldah (née Johnson, b.6-28-1762–d.8-29-1832) Spencer

John, a fifth generation Spencer in the East Greenwich, Rhode Island, married Huldah Johnson. With his marriage to Huldah, the Johnson ancestry, as well as the Goff ancestry, came into the Spencer line. According the Vital Record of Rhode Island 1636-1850, Huldah Johnson and John Spencer, both of Coventry, were married by Eld. Nathan Hill on March 8, 1784. Daughters of the American Revolution records show the marriage was in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.

John, the second son of William and Mary (née Manchester) Spencer, was a minuteman in the American Revolution.

According the Vital Record of Rhode Island 1636-1850,  Huldah and John had seven children, Mary (b.7-23-1785), Capt. John (b.6-1-1787), William (b.1-25-1790), Hezekiah (b.1-27-1792), Elizabeth (b.8-11-1794), Richard Anthony(“Deacon”,5-11-1798) and Oliver Cromwell (b.9-14-1800). [Author’s note: The fact that their last child was named Oliver Cromwell Spencer lets the Spencer and/or Johnson descendants know something of the political persuasion of their ancestors who left England in the 1600s. Descendants in America today do not share this same sentiment, especially since Princess Diana, the people’s princess, was a Spencer! and Audrey Mae thought Princess Diana (née Spencer) resembles her youngest daughter].  :-)

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6th Generation (Richard Anthony & Roby)

Richard Anthony (“Deacon”, b.5-11-1798–d.12-19-1889) and Roby (née Tarbox, b.7-15-1798–d.12-5-1876) Spencer.

 Richard Anthony was the fourth son and sixth child of John and Huldah (née Johnson) Spencer.  With Richard marriage to Roby, the Tarbox and the Whitford ancestry came into the Spencer line. Roby was the daughter of Joseph Tarbox and Esther Whitford.

Roby (née Tarbox) Spencer married Richard Anthony (“Deacon”) Spencer on April 3, 1817 in Exeter, Rhode Island. Roby and Richard had eight children, Richard Anthony (b.9-1-1817), Audra Eleanor (b.5-16-1819), John J. (b.10-1837 died when small), Esther Amanda (b.6-17-1828 died 7-25-1833), Joseph Jason (b. 8-27-1821), William Augustus (b. 4-21-1824), Huldah Evaline (b.3-8-1833) and Esther Amanda (b.1-21-1835) named after her sister who died in childhood.  When the first Esther Amanda died as a child, the parents named their next baby with the same name, Esther Amanda. This Esther Amanda who often wrote under the initials E.A.B. became the Spencer genealogist of her generation. Her papers are still in the possession of Spencer descendants today (2013). Unfortunately, John J. died in infancy and Esther Amanda died in childhood. Apparently that was not uncommon to name the next child after the child who died.  J.R. Cole’s History of Washington and Kent Counties published in 1889 records the names of the six children who lived to adulthood but does not records the names of the two children who died young.  Cole only mentions that two died in infancy.


Newspaper article in poor condition-Date of article unknown-re Richard Anthony (“Deacon”) Spencer







Richard was always called Deacon Richard because he was Deacon of the Frenchtown Baptist Church for fifty years. Richard and Roby are buried in the Spencer family cemetery (aka E.G.No.9) on Middle Road.  Continue reading

7th Generation (Richard Anthony & Ann)

Richard Anthony (b.9-1-1817–d.5-27-1845) and Ann Almy (née Tarbox, 2-13-1823–d.11-24-1904) Spencer

Richard Anthony, the first son of Richard Anthony (“Deacon”) and Roby (née Tarbox) Spencer, married  Ann Almy (née Tarbox) on September 18, 1842. She was the daughter of Hiram and Eunice Tarbox. According to “Spencer Genealogy”, printed material in E.G. library,  the couple was “married in New York City”.  Richard died at age twenty-seven and left one child, Anna Maria (pronounced Mar-eye-ah) , who was born in Versailles, Connecticut.  She had just turned one year old when her father died. The child was raised in East Greenwich with the extended Spencer family.  Audrey Mae (née Spencer) MacDonald, the carrier of the Spencer oral tradition, had no knowledge why Richard Anthony’s daughter was born in Connecticut and not East Greenwich.  East Greenwich had been the birth place of all Spencers since 1679 when the first English baby born in East Greenwich was a Spencer!

According to Audrey Mae’s gravestone numbering system, Richard Anthony’s gravestone in the Spencer family cemetery is between his father, Richard Anthony’s (“Deacon’s”) gravestone number six and his daughter, Anna Maria’s (pronounced Mar-eye-ah’s) gravestone number eight. Continue reading

8th Generation (Anna Maria & John “Ace”)

Anna Maria (pronounced Anna Mar-eye-ah, b.5-23-1844–d.9-25-1913) and John Johnson  (b.5-27-1842–d.4-19-1925) Spencer


Anna Maria (Mar-eye-ah) Spencer


Pvt. John Johnson Spencer, Lt. Greene’s Co., 1 Reg’t New England Cavalry

Anna Maria (pronounced Anna Mar-eye-ah), an eighth generation Spencer in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, was the daughter of Richard Anthony and Ann Almy (née Tarbox) Spencer.  Anna Maria and John Johnson Spencer were married on August 13, 1871 by Reverend George Northrop in Exeter, Rhode Island.  To distinguish this John Spencer from the other John Spencers, Audrey Mae always referred to him as John Johnson, using both his first and middle name. His middle name, Johnson, was his great-grandmother’s, Huldah’s, family name.  However, Esther Amanda (née Spencer) Briggs wrote on page 29 in her notebook that his nickname was John “Ace”. Web site author does not believe that Audrey Mae knew that John Johnson was called  John “Ace” as Audrey Mae never spoke of her grandfather’s nickname.  Anna Maria (Mar-eye-ah) and John Johnson had three sons, Richard Augustus (“Rich”), William J.B. (“Will”) and Alfred Ernest (“Ern”) Spencer. John and Anna Maria raised their sons at the Spencer house on Spencer’s Corner (Division, Crompton and Shippeetown Road intersection of East Greenwich, R.I.) Their middle son, William J.B. Spencer was the father of Audrey Mae, Edith Anna and John Edward (“Ed”).

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9th Generation (William J.B. & Mary Jane)


Wedding Picture of William J.B. Spencer and Mary Jane (née Vaughn) Spencer, August 4, 1897


William J.B.(b.4-11-1878–d.1-12-1969) and Mary Jane (née Vaughn) (b.1-14-1877–d.2-11-1955) Spencer.

William J. B. is the middle son of Anna Maria (pronounced Anna Mar-eye-ah) and John Johnson Spencer.  Mary Jane is the daughter of Lydia Edith and Charles Augustus Vaughn. Mary Jane Vaughn’s family homestead is also in East Greenwich, on the west side of South Country Trail (No.2) and south of Division Road. Their Vaughn family historical cemetery is the East Greenwich historical cemetery No. 7. With the marriage of Mary Jane, the Vaughn ancestry came into the Spencer line.  (Click Vaughn Historical Cemetery above for more information on the Vaughn family and cemetery.) William J.B. and Mary Jane (aka “Mae”) are the parents of Edith Anna, John Edward and Audrey Mae.  The younger daughter, Audrey Mae, is the historian who carried on the Spencer and Vaughn oral tradition. Audrey Mae inherited many of “Aunt Mandy’s” (aka E.A.B.’s and Esther Amanda [née Spencer] Briggs’) historical papers and writings. Without “Aunt Mandy” and Audrey Mae, much of the Spencer history would have been lost.  Whereas, Audrey Mae stayed in the East Greenwich area of Rhode Island,  her sister, Edith Anna moved to California and her brother,  John Edward, moved to Connecticut.

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10th Generation (Audrey, John, Edith)

  Edith Anna (b.6-11-1898–d12-8-1991) , John Edward (b.8-15-1904–d.4-26-1988), Audrey Mae (b.3-19-1912–d.3-11-2007)

William J.B. and Mary Jane (née Vaughn) Spencer’s three children are in the tenth generation of Spencers in the East Greenwich area of Rhode Island.  All three children have carried on the Vaughn and Spencer oral tradition to their own children. Edith Anna (née Spencer) Evarone is buried at Holy Cross cemetery, Culver City, California. John Edward Spencer is buried in Lot 29 and Audrey Mae (née Spencer) MacDonald is buried in adjoining Lot 50, Rathbun cemetery, corner of Washington Street and Knotty Oak Road, Coventry, R.I.  Their parents, William J.B. and Mary Jane and other Spencer and Vaughn descendents are also buried in this perpetual care cemetery in Coventry.  Audrey Mae’s oldest son, Spencer, purchased these adjoining burial lots–Lot 50 & 29–for the MacDonald/Spencer/Vaughn descendants. Continue reading

11th Generation (Anna Lucia, Frank,Jr.)

Anna Lucia Evarone (b.3-17-1921–d.4-6-1923) and infant brother Frank Evarone (b.5-19-1926–d.5-21-1926) were the first and third child of Edith Anna (née Spencer)  and Frank (b.8-22-1898–d.12-29-1986) Evarone. Frank, the children’s father, was born in Italy and came to America when he was seven years old. He did not speak English when he arrived. His parents and he settled in Providence, R.I. Edith Anna (6-12-1898–12-8-1991), the first daughter of William J.B. and Mary Jane (née Vaughn) Spencer was the first Spencer in Rhode Island since the 1600s to marry outside of the Yankee tradition, move away and raise her children outside of the ancestral homeland area of Rhode Island.   Frank met Edith at a dance in Providence, Rhode Island.  Frank and Edith lived with Frank’s parents in Providence when they were first married. Their first child Anna Lucia–named after her paternal grandmother, Anna Luccia and her maternal great-grandmother, Anna Maria–died of spinal meningitis when she was two years old.  Anna Lucia died at Rhode Island Hospital on April 6, 1923 as there was no medicine for that illness at that time in history. In 1926 Edith and Frank’s first son, Frank, Jr., was born and lived only two days. Anna Lucia and infant Frank are buried in the Spencer family cemetery (E.G.No.9) on Middle Road in East Greenwich, R.I.

Audrey Mae’s eldest daughter’s Memoirs written in 2003 : “A sadness that never left Mother was her sister’s, Edith’s, first child dying at age two. Mother still cried whenever she thought of Aunt Edith’s child.”

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