The ancestry of Roxanna Pauline (Annie) SPENCE BREEDLOVE, daughter of John Thomas SPENCE and wife Nancy LEWELLEN, and wife of Jefferson Davis BREEDLOVE, is set out in the following pages. Roxanna Pauline was paternal grandmother of Sam R. BREEDLOVE and thus my great grandmother.
I would suggest two possibilities for the parents of John SPENCE, Roxanna Pauline SPENCE BREEDLOVE's grandfather, being (1) John SPENCE, born in Ireland, about 1780, and (2) Joseph SPENCE, Sr., probably born between 1780 and 1790.
The problem with John SPENCE being the father is that his wife Elizabeth shows on the 1850 census to have been born in South Carolina and Theodore P. SPENCE who could also be a son, older than our John, was also born in South Carolina. The father of the John SPENCE who married Roscky Ann JARMAN, described in the following section (0), and who was born in Ireland, would need to have remained in Ireland for his marriage and the birth of at least this child. In 1830 in Greene County, Alabama, there is a John SPENCE on the census. Sumpter County was Indian territory in 1830. The couple is shown in 1850 in Sumpter County, Alabama, near the home of my known ancestors, John SPENCE and wife Roscky Ann JARMAN. His occupation is shown to be cabinet maker, his age 70, and his birthplace Ireland. Elizabeth SPENCE, born about 1823 in Alabama, and Margaret A. SPENCE, born about 1826 in Alabama, are with the family, as is Charles MORGAN, a twelve year old male born in Mississippi. It is probable he is a relative, perhaps a grandchild. With the family of Theodore P. SPENCE that year is living James MORGAN, a 19 year old carpenter, born in Alabama.
Joseph SPENCE, Senior, is indicated as a possible father simply by age and proximity to John SPENCE and wife Roscky Ann JARMAN. The census records for Sumpter County, Alabama, in 1840 indicate the following families:
The census information for 1840 and 1850 indicates younger generations living in the area including:
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John SPENCE, born in Ireland about 1814, married Roscky Ann JARMAN December 15, 1836. She was the daughter of Berryman JARMAN and his wife Mary WRENN, who are described on the JARMAN page. He died after 1883, possibly in Gatesville, Coryell County, Texas. Roscky Ann was born in North Carolina, about 1812, and she died after her husband (after 1883). [COMMENT-2] Roscky is also spelled occasionally as Roxian or Roxey. Note that it is probable that Roxanna Pauline SPENCE BREEDLOVE was named at least in part for this, her grandmother.
There was a John A. SPENCE who was assigned to Warrior Mission, Tuscaloosa District, Alabama Conference, Methodist Episcopal Church, 1843. This is probably in Jefferson County, Alabama. I don't know the relationship, if any, but Nellie WINEGAR, a descendant of John SPENCE and wife Roscky Ann JARMAN through their son William Clarence SPENCE, says: "Some how I remember my father saying John SPENCE was a Methodist circuit riding preacher, but all the census do not say so, far as I have found, and my sister who is older than I thinks so to. I got it in my head years ago that his name was John Wesley but when I found my paper it only said John."
Coryell County Deed Records include the following:
John SPENCE is found on the 1850 Sumpter County Alabama census, page 155, and on 1860 Harris County Census, page 360. He is shown as a laborer in 1860 and a farmer in 1850.
Children of John SPENCE and wife Roscky Ann JARMAN include the following:
|John Thomas SPENCE, born October 12, 1837, in Alabama, who married Nancy LEWELLEN is described in the following section.|
| Hugh Berryman (Berry) SPENCE, born December 18, 1838, at Payneville, in Sumpter County, Alabama. The "Berryman" comes from his maternal grandfather, Berryman JARMAN. Roxanna Pauline SPENCE BREEDLOVE named her first child Charles Berryman BREEDLOVE. This Berry SPENCE served in Granbury's Brigade in the Civil War with his brothers John and James. He married Josephene GOLLAHER July 14, 1865, in Harris County, Texas. He died May 8, 1881 in Bellville, Austin County, Texas, and Josaphene died August 16, 1906 or 1907 in Gatesville, Coryell County, Texas. Their children were |
| James Henry SPENCE, born March 29, 1840, in Alabama, served in the same Civil War unit as John and Berry. His wife on the census appears as Sarah. James H. SPENCE married Susan BELL April 13, 1867, in Austin County, Texas. His children were |
|Mary Elizabeth SPENCE BELL, born May 5, 1841, Alabama. She married ____ BELL. In her old age she was in a Confederate Women's Home, Austin Texas. She probably had no children. There is a Mary E. SPENCE who married Asa ROBINSON October 31, 1864, in Austin County, Texas.|
|Nancy Jane SPENCE, born September 24, 1842 or 1843, in Alabama|
| Charles Wesley (Westley) SPENCE, born March 23, 1844, in Alabama. He married Martha Ann ATKISON October 5, 1865, and he died November 20, 1892. Their children were |
|Joseph Jackson SPENCE, born October 3, 1845, in Alabama. Joseph J. SPENCE married Elizabeth J. LYONS on November 27, 1866, in Austin County (Vol. D, Page 235). [COMMENT-6]|
|Martha Ann SPENCE FISHER, born April 7, 1847, in Alabama, married Gratis FISHER in Austin County, Texas August 18, 1865. About "Aunt Matt FISHER" Nellie WINNEGAR says some of the FISHERS still live around Bellville.|
|Columbus Jefferson (Lum) SPENCE, born February 13, 1849, in Alabama, married Emma A. FARGUHAR April 28, 1879, in Austin County, Texas. It may be that Emma A. FARGHUAR SPENCE died after the 1880 census and that Lum married again, since another listing shows that C. J. SPENCE married Sallie ALEXANDER October 30, 1886, in Austin County, Texas. Lum and Emma, who was abour fourteen years younger than her husband, were the parents of John W. SPENCE, born about March of 1880.|
|Alexander Rawls SPENCE, born December 24, 1857, may be the A. R. SPENCE who married Mamie MORRIS December 11, 1893 in Austin County, Texas. [COMMENT-7]|
| William Clarence SPENCE, born August 6, 1853, married first Angeline ____, the mother of Minnie, died at childbirth; he married second Nellie Gertrude NICHOLS, on January 4, 1877. His children included: |
|Angeline SPENCE, born July 21, 1855, died as a small child.[COMMENT-9]|
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John Thomas SPENCE, the eldest son of John SPENCE and wife Roscky Ann JARMAN, was born October 12, 1937, in Alabama, possibly in Sumtner County. He married Nancy LEWELLEN or LLYWELYN, the daughter of John LEWELLEN and wife Nancy COLEY before 1958. Nancy's parents are described on the LEWELLEN page. After the death of her first husband, John SPENCE, at Lynchburg on Galveston Bay, in 1867, [COMMENT-10] Nancy married William H. WHITWORTH. Nancy was born in Tennessee, according to her on 1900 census; in Texas according to Charles BREEDLOVE on Annie BREEDLOVE's death certificate; in Illinois according to Annie or her family in the 1910 census. The date of birth was also questionable, being possibly in 1826, possibly in 1829, or less probably in December 1838. She died April 12, 1906, and is buried at the Hannibal Cemetery in Erath County, Texas, beside her sisters Tobitha LEWELLEN GORDON and Lucinda LEWELLEN GORDON, and near her son Rapherd SPENCE.
The Harris County, Texas, census for 1860 which ought to be this family shows John SPENCE, 23, m, born Alabama; wife S, 28, F, born Alabama; and R, 2, M, born Texas. He lives with F. LAURENT, a Frenchman, who is a wood chopper, and that is his occupation, too. The ages are approximately correct, although Nancy's initial is wrong, but that's about par for the census takers. The problem with this is the listing for the father of this ancestor, John SPENCE, also in the 1860 Harris County census, who proceeds to list the wife, R. A. SPENCE, and the children, starting with J. T. SPENCE. Evidently whoever talked to the census taker named all the children born to that marriage, although at least John Thomas had already married and moved out.
William WHITWORTH is on page 165 in 1860 in Austin County.
In 1870, William WHITWORTH is 32, white male Farmer, England. No family is listed with him. His number is 150/294.
Census records for Austin County, 1880, page 344, show:
Under No. 149 in the Erath County Census for 1900, Nancy and W. H. WHITWORTH appeared to have just gotten married and they didn't have children living with them. She stated her age to be 62, the same as her husband's, but she may have been older since the 1850 census appears to show the same person as 21 at that time.
The 1910 census for Erath County shows William WHITWORTH as the father-in-law of J. D. BREEDLOVE and living with that family.
The lived in Erath county near Stephenville even before this, since family tradition reports that Rapherd SPENCE, born in 1858, was born at the fort in Stephenville during an Indian raid. The following paragraphs, taken from the writings of Rhapherd Thomas BREEDLOVE and not in order, show something of the deprivation and suffering which was a part of life on the early Texas frontier:
My grandparents had to flee to Stephenville to the fort there when the Indians went on the warpath during the full moons. Time after time there were periods of great danger.
Neighbors were far apart. A man was killed on a freight wagon. His little son who was with him was kidnapped, but that night, near where my grandparents lived, he escaped and hid among some cows. Strangely enough, the raiders did not look for him there.
Mrs. HAM and her husband hid one night in a crevice of a caprock. All night the raiders came near them but mercifully did not find them.
The settlers were little less cruel. One man had a razor strop made from the skin off a warrior's back.
A whole village was wiped out at the mouth of one of the tributaries of The Brazos, following one of the raids that dwarfed the raid on Fort Parker.
Perilous times seemed to deepen their determination. Grandmother and Aunt Lucy, with two other women spent a night in a Sim's Valley Cabin, standing watch and by sheer courage bluffing a band of raiders.
The Civil War records for the Confederate Army show: John T. SPENCE, Private/Private, Company F, 16th Texas Infantry, Flournoy's Reg't, Texas Infantry, 7 Reg't Texas Infantry. Became Co.s D and E, Granbury's Consolidated Texas Brigade about April 9, 1867. In the same unit were his brothers, Berry SPENCE (Hugh Berryman SPENCE) and James SPENCE. This is about Granbury's Brigade: "At New Hope Church, a Texas Brigade (Granbury's) rushed for a hill on our flank; they poured one volley into a Federal Brigade, which had just reached the crest, and their unerring aim left 770 bodies on the field. The New Hope Church battle was a part of the battle of Atlanta, Georgia. [COMMENT-11]
Granbury's Brigade, with which John Thomas SPENCE and his brothers fought, was responsible for the death of the Northern General James B. McPHERSON, who "was a brave and honorable enemy, and as such was respected by the Confederates. Unlike Gen. [William Tecumseh] SHERMAN, he always fought the South with the sword, and never with a box of matches." John MOORE, who expressed his sentiments about the General, described the death of the general:
As is well known, Gen. McPHERSON was killed at the battle of Atlanta, July 22, 1864. In this engagement Sergt. Fred CORN was commanding the advanced pickets of the Twenty-Fourth Texas. He and Private [Robert D.] COMPTON and another soldier, whose name is not now remembered, were some distance in advance.... [T]heir attention was attracted by a small party of mounted men rapidly riding parallel to them, yet somewhat "angling" toward them.... [I]t proved to be Gen. McPHERSON and staff. When the General, who was somewhat in advance, had approached within twenty paces he was ordered by COMPTON to halt. McPHERSON made no halt nor reply to this, but instantly wheeling his horse, he veered his course a little more to the right, and continued his speed. COMPTON then fired, and McPHERSON instantly fell from his horse.... He was mortally wounded.... COMPTON also captured from McPHERSON's saddle a canteen of fine whisky, which the pickets duly "confiscated" to their own use.... After the killing of Gen. McPHERSON, Sergt. CRON, Robert D. COMPTON, Dick HENSON, Bill ALFORD, Henry COMPTON, and two others, whose names are not now remembered, tapped this canteen of Yankee whisky, man after man, until its contents were exhausted.... They were soon in that state of intoxication commonly known as "gloriously drunk".... Moving forward through the thick woods and underbrush, the Texans soon came in contact with a large force of Federal pickets. With their heads full of whisky, they doubtless thought at the time they were a match to any body of Yankees they might meet. Extending their lines so at (sic) to surround the enemy, they fired a volley and charged them from all sides, and a severe hand-to-hand struggle took place.... R. D. COMPTON attacked the Federal captain with his bayonet, the officer using his sword. Finally COMPTON succeeded in entangling his bayonet in the guard of the captain's sword, and the Yankee, being thus put hors de combat, COMPTON drew a revolver and shot him dead. The Federals, on the death of their leader, threw down their arms and surrendered.... Thirty-two Federals thus surrendered to six Confederates.... The dense woods and underbrush caused them [Federals] to over-estimate the number of their assailants, the fury of whose onset, inspired by the martial frenzy of Yankee whisky, contributing to keep up the deception.... [COMMENT-12]
The following is either a sermon or, more probably, a speech by Rhapherd Thomas BREEDLOVE which is inserted here simply because there's no better place to put it. At the points where he was going to tell a familiar story, he would just but a reminder to himself, so we just have to wonder what the story was. Lucy will be Lucinda LEWELLEN GORDON, sister of Nancy LEWELLEN SPENCE WHITWORTH.
We have seen the cave dwellings, the cliff dwellings, and the ruins of other types of homes of ancient people, including the pit houses. The Utes and the Hopis call the people who built those homes and lived in them THE OLD PEOPLE. We now believe those OLD PEOPLE were the ancestors of the Hopi Indians. Anyway, those Old People lived, worked and died, left their ruins, including their mummified dead. That is the fact of every one of us -- live a while, work or play in sin or in righteousness and then leave our record behind as a reminder for all succeeding generations to pass judgment on.
Not long before you and I were born, our Old People came to this Western Country. My grandparents went from Tyler to Erath County about 1850, quite a bit before Mr. ERATH, a surveyor and Indian fighter, surveyed the county. There they settled on Barton's Creek, not far from an Indian village. At times, almost always when the Moon was full the Indians went on the war path. Then The Old Folks would bundle up what they could take along and 'hold up' in the old fort at Stephenville. That life is almost beyond belief in the light of the poorest of us. Those times are gone, never to return, please God!
Try to visualize what those invaders of the land saw, felt and what they had. They lived with danger every day and went to sleep in dread each night.
Aunt Lucy and the cow! Grandma and Aunt Susan! [COMMENT-13] Buttermilk from the old churn!
The 'noble red man' was dirty, diseased, and always dangerous. The way they ate and they way they dressed shocked grandma. At times the bucks wore what would be a little less than the bottom part of a bikini.
Go into your home, take out every convenience, every appliance, every stick of modern furniture, and then start from scratch. Make your mattresses out of straw or corn shucks. Cook over an outdoor fire until you could build a chimney. Had there been stores near enough, there would not have been much to buy. We simply cannot see the picture; we are too far removed from the real life those Old People lived....
When I was a big-eared youngster, I would sit by the hour and listen to the Old Folks tell with hilarious laughter about the close calls, the battles, the dangers, and the triumphs. Yes they learned 'in whatsoever state they were in, therewith to be content'. They laughed about Old Dan's brush with the Indians, when he killed one, had his horse killed under him, how he got away, dropped off the bluff into Barton's Creek, ran two miles downstream to the 'rock house' in spite of the fact that he carried an arrow in his left arm, which left a scar almost from wrist to elbow. We little boys used to stand in admiring awe looking at that ugly scar.
I sometimes go to the little cemetery, where those Old People lie, the THORNTONS, the CLARKS, the GORDONS, the SPENCES, the WHITWORTHS. My mother's father died of cholera on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, after he was discharged from the Confederate army; my Step-grandfather [COMMENT-14] lies in the Old Hannibal Cemetery. Those people there lived, worked and died for me, and I can never repay them, nor can I ever do enough to show my appreciation for what they did.
They are the ones who made that land safe for me, for I was born 13 years after the last brush with the marauding Comanches. My birthplace was about half a mile from where the last skirmish took place. By that time the place was safe for me and I lived in relative security. The Old People endured the hardships; I reaped the harvest of safety and convenience. They built the primitive roads; they built the school; they organized the church; they built the homes. The house in which I was born was made of lumber that was hauled by ox wagon from Waco, a hundred miles away.
Those women did their housework and still had time to work in the fields. Somehow they could ride or drive many miles to attend church. They even had time to hold a camp meeting. Hardship and sacrifice they took as their way of life. The preacher was poorly paid, but he had a home wherever he went. He had few opportunities to preach to any one congregation, so he often held forth for two hours, and then the people heard him gladly.
Those old circuit riders actually believed that they could call on the name of the Lord and be heard. They believed the Lord would be with them in times of trouble and deliver them. Their Bible told them that, and they were naive enough to believe the Bible. Caleb SMITH and the ruffian.
Brother Early MORTON and the Hardshell Baptist!
Wherever The Old People settled, there they built their altar. If there were no place to hold public meetings, there was the altar in the home. My mother taught us the old songs in a land where there were no churches! The Old People read their Bibles; they sang their songs, they worshipped their God in a strange land. They took time to teach their children the fundamental lessons of citizenship. Decency, honesty, reverence, patriotism, prayer, faith, truthfulness, obedience to God and the law of the land---. These lessons were drilled into us so that we could never forget them.
In another early story that Rhapherd Thomas BREEDLOVE loved to repeat, he tells in greater detail about the "last brush with the marauding Comanches":
These things happened one hundred eighteen years ago. [COMMENT-15] The moon was full, the Indians were raiding and the few settlers along the Big Creek were uneasy. A report from the north told of a war party traveling south. So scouts were sent out, the war party was located, and several of the men along the Creek set out to drive the marauders out of the country, leaving the women behind. They were Susan WYATT, Nancy SPENCE, Lucy GORDON, Cindy THORNTON, and a Mrs. SIMS. [COMMENT-16] There were other families but I can not recall the names, for I was young when these tales were told. Over and over again I heard them, each time by some one of the participants and always essentially the same. Nancy SPENCE was my grandmother and Lucy GORDON was her sister.
The WYATT place was to the north, next was the SIMS place, to the south of that was the SPENCE cabin, next was GORDON's, and the last place on the south was the THORNTON house. Grandma and Mrs. SIMS were at the WYATT home. The others were at the GORDON home, "The Rock House." [COMMENT-17] The three were well able to take care of themselves. They could and would shoot as well as most men, and that night they were armed and waiting for their men to come home. In the meantime, the men had chased the Indian raiders to the east then to the south and lost them in the Paluxy breaks, where they spent the rest of the night. When morning came, they took up the trail again, this time to the west. Having eluded the whites, the Indians had made a beeline at daybreak to the settlement, where they were besieging the WYATT place.
Those oldtime women were standing the Comanches off, shooting through small portholes in the log walls. Grandmother never got excited. In the modern vernacular, she kept her cool, which was a trait she handed down to my mother, who was one of the calmest people I ever knew. They both took danger, hardship, privation all as a matter of course. Those qualities stood them in good stead the night they held off the Indians until their husbands arrived and chased the reds away.
In another passage, R. T. BREEDLOVE described the lifestyle and living conditions of the family during those early days:
If I could turn back the clock for only 118 years, I could eat at Grandma's. She probably would have roast venison, bear or buffalo. If it were in the summer, she might have roast corn on the cob, roasted in the hot ashes of a fire in her yard. There would be an old dutch oven with a lid. The dutch oven had legs, so that coals of fire could be raked under it, and live coals would cover the lid. I have eaten her biscuits that were cooked in that same old dutch oven. There would be a sort of crane to hold an old black, iron pot, which also had a lid. Vegetables were boiled in the pot, and when the vegetables were finished, water was heated for dish washing. Bathing, washing clothes, and watering stock might all be done with the old wooden wash tub.
He seems to be esepcially fond of William WHITWORTH, and the reason is obvious for those who knew R. T. BREEDLOVE. They were certainly kindred spirits:
Our step-grandfather, born and educated in England, was the community sage. So I took my problem to him. That wise old man looked at me for a moment, as if he were puzzled. Then he said, 'Judge, I'll tell you about those shells, but you mustn't talk too much about them, for people don't understand, and they'll think you are an infidel.'" (Followed by a fairly accurate statement of current scientific understanding of shifting continental shelves and lost oceans)
W. H. WHITWORTH received property in Coryell County, Texas, by deed dated November 6, 1883 (Volume S, Page 390) and he and Nancy conveyed property on September 25, 1886, recorded at Volume Z, Page 261.
The graves of Tobitha GORDON, Lucinda GORDON, and Nancy WHITWORTH are together in the Hannibal Cemetery in Erath County. In 1988 they were in good condition, among the tallest and best looking old graves in the cemetery. The stone for Nancy had broken but was broken above most of the writing and still easily readable. The broken part was with the stone.
Children of John Thomas SPENCE and wife Nancy LEWELLEN SPENCE WHITWORTH include the following:
| Rapherd/Rayford SPENCE, born January, 1857, in a fort in Stephenville during an Indian raid. Rayford SPENCE married Mary E. ALEXANDER October 11, 1887, in Austin County, Texas. In 1880 at age 22 he was still living with his mother and stepfather in Austin County. He died of an open can of sardines on the trail, evidently of ptomaine poison. The index of death records show his death as October 31, 1909 in Erath County. Jo STEM believes it was around Huckabay. Ollie doesn't remember her father; she says he's buried in Stephenville. After his death, in about 1912, the family moved to Stephens County, Oklahoma. His children include:
|Charles SPENCE, the second son of John Thomas SPENCE and wife Nancy LEWELLEN, was born about 1864, in Texas; no further information. There is a Charles SPENCE in Stephenville in 1900, but he is a child living with his stepfather, Harvey E. WINN, and his father is supposed to have been born in England. Ollie BRISCOE didn't know her father had a brother. There was a Charlie SPENCE who died September 23, 1915 in Fannin County. There was a C. J. SPENCE who married Sallie ALEXANDER October 30, 1886, in Austin County, Texas, about a year before Rayford SPENCE married Mary E. ALEXANDER there, but I've also mentioned that marriage at Columbus J. SPENCE, this man's uncle.|
|Roxanna Pauline (Annie) SPENCE BREEDLOVE was born February 26, 1867, in Austin County, Texas, and married Jefferson Davis BREEDLOVE February 27, 1885, in Gatesville, Coryell County, Texas. They are described on the BREEDLOVE Page.[COMMENT-18]|
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