Although the children of William and Hannah (Dulworth) Spear weren’t quite as prolific as those of John and Hyla (Willis) Dulworth, who had 72 grandchildren, William and Hannah had plenty of grandchildren to fill their home several times over.
William and Hannah Spear had ten known children, but one, Henry, was stillborn in 1852. It must have been heartbreaking to name a baby who never enjoyed even one short breath of life, but name him they did and he has a death certificate.
This family hasn’t been found in 1880, so it is possible they had one or two more children.
Their other 9 children married and had families of their own:
- Isaac Spear, born 23 August 1832, died 5 December 1924, Barren County, Kentucky, married Mary Almira Long, 20 October 1858 (2) Sally Willis, 29 September 1898, both in Cumberland County, Kentucky. Isaac was the father of 8 known children, all born to Mary: Parmelia, born October 1859, died before 1870; William Haggard, born c1861, died 1929, Washita County, Oklahoma, married Bettie H. Wilson; Martha Laura Bell, born 22 September 1862, died 30 May 1954, Cumberland County, Kentucky, married Richard Willis, 21 July 1880, Clay County, Tennessee; Alice, born either 1861 or 1870 (census taker listed her last of the 1870 children, aged 9, but older than her siblings. All other primary records give a birth year c1870. He might have forgotten to say 9 MONTHS instead of 9 years old), died 14 October 1918, Barren County, Kentucky, married Burrell Willis, c1889; Ida Ruth, born 4 October 1871, died 5 February 1962, married Ulysses Grant McFarland, c1887; Peyton P., born 22 June 1874, died 11 April 1961, Obion County, Tennessee, married Louvenia Spear, who was his first cousin; Charles Curtis, born 15 May 1876, died 11 June 1953, Wells County, North Dakota, married Mary Ellen Alexson, 25 July 1906, McHenry County, North Dakota; Samuel Powell, born 5 August 1878, died 27 July 1973, married Dora Taylor.
2. Elizabeth Spear was born c1837, died after the 1880 census and married later in life, compared to her peer group. She is a bit of a sticky wicket, as she married John Dutchman Long, who unfortunately married two, or possibly three women, all named Elizabeth. His first wife is said to have been Elizabeth Day. Undocumented information online states that he married “Elizabeth Dulworth Spear” by 1858, when a son was born to them. Elizabeth Dulworth and Elizabeth Spear were two separate people and first cousins, close in age. This is a hot mess because Elizabeth Dulworth married . . . . . . . . John Long, but not John Dutchman Long, who was also close in age to the same-named man. Both Long families lived in Kettle Creek, Cumberland County, Kentucky.
Next, John Dutchman Long did have a son born in 1858 – Benjamin. Benjamin’s death certificate identifies his father correctly and gives the maiden name of his mother as Griffith. Well, we know how that goes on death certificates. Sometimes, the informant is 100% correct, other times – not really.
However, I tend to believe that John Dutchman might have married an Elizabeth Griffith, who died sometime around 1860, when John had a son, Alexander, born. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a death certificate for Alexander, which would be a second source for the mother of Benjamin and Alex, himself.
However, unless they had a relationship before marriage, Elizabeth was not the mother of John’s sons, Benjamin or Alexander, as she was living in her parents’ home, unmarried in 1860.
John’s next child was a daughter, Hannah, born 2 June 1862/64. Hannah was likely named for her grandmother and her death certificate names her mother as Elizabeth Spear.
For purposes here, then, I am assuming that John Dutchman Long and Elizabeth Spear were the parents of 9 children: Hannah, born 3 June 1862/4, died 13 October 1965, Cumberland County, Kentucky, married Peter (Pitts) Ferguson, c1883; James W., born c1863, died after 1880, no further record; Mary, born c1865, died after 1880, no further record; William Freeman, born September 1866, died 23 June 1948, Cumberland County, Kentucky, married Sophronia Cook, 17 April 1892, Cumberland County, Kentucky; George Hunter, born 14 November 1868, died 20 December 1918, Cumberland County, Kentucky, married Lee Ann Matilda Moore, c1891; Catherine, born November 1872, died 1939, married John W. Moore, c1892; Barbara Ann, born October 1875, died 30 June 1914; married Charles Emmett Groce; Nancy M., born c1877, died after 1880, no further record.
3. James Spear was born 1 April 1839, died 30 March 1928 and married Paralee Long, c1858. Paralee was 9 years older than her husband. They were the parents of 5 children: Malvina, born c1859, died before 1870, no further record; Salem, born 18 March 1861/62, died 10 July 1921, married Elizabeth Johnson, 23 September 1879, Clay County, Tennessee; Valentine, born 10 February 1863, died 9 May 1933, Cumberland County, Kentucky, married Martha Frances Capps, c1906; Darius Allen, born 8 December 1864/65, died 13 March 1963, Cumberland County, Kentucky, married Calista Belle Watkins; and Ezra, born c1867, died 29 July 1924, Cumberland County, Kentucky, married Mary Ann Scott, c1888.
4. John Spear was born 12 April 1843, died 30 March 1928 and married (1) Catherine Elam, c1864 (2) Mary E. Poindexter. As with a couple of the other Spear families, this family isn’t found in 1880. Therefore, John was the parent of at least 9 children, 6 born to Catherine and the three youngest to Mary: James Wolford, born 21 March 1864/65, died 16 March 1956, married Laura Young, c1884; Melvina Elizabeth, born 19 September 1865/67, died 26 April 1952, Cumberland County, Kentucky, married William H. Moore, 21 June 1882, Clay County, Tennessee; Joe Godsby, born 4 July 1869, died 29 November 1948, Coal County, Oklahoma, married (1) Sarah Catherine Young, c1891 (2) Martha Florence Spear, c1910; Nancy Eviline, born 9 January 1871, died 29 May 1961, married Johnny C. Young; E (male), born May 1876 – in Cumberland County birth register, no further record; William Hamilton, born 14 May 1880, died 25 April 1963, married Ada Whitley, 20 December 1909, Clay County, Tennessee; Jesse, born 13 Marcy 1884/85, died 9 November 1955, Barren County, Kentucky, married Ellen Sarah Capps, 20 May 1904, Cumberland County, Kentucky; Vela, born 25 February 1891/92, died 5 December 1966, Cumberland County, Kentucky, married Walter F. Spear, c1913; Howard Ernest, born 26 November 1896/97, died 21 March 1974, married Dora Brandy Spear.
5. Nancy Jane Spear was born c1846, died 15 February 1922, married James R. Elam, 16 May 1871, Clay County, Tennessee. Jim and Nancy had no known children together. However, Nancy had one daughter, Louvenia, born c1867. She has already been mentioned in the family of Nancy’s brother, Isaac, as Louvenia married her first cousin, Peyton P. Spear. Louvenia grew up using the Elam surname, but it isn’t known whether James Elam was her natural father. However, Louvenia had no children, so there are no known descendants of Nancy Jane Spear.
6. Sarah Spear was born c1848, survived her husband who died in July 1912, but passed away before the 1920 census, married Olander Hughes, 19 September 1878, Cumberland County, Kentucky. They were the parents of two children: Sarah M. and Olander. The 1880 census shows Olander to be 9 years old and Sarah M., born August 1879. However, in 1900, Olander has a June 1879 birth date and Sarah reported having only one child. Olander Jr. died 26 January 1934, Delaware County, Indiana and married Frances Barnes. Also, in 1870, Sarah was unmarried and at home with her parents. She had a two year old daughter, Larena, who hasn’t been found in 1880. It appears that Sarah gave birth to three children, but only Olander grew to adulthood.
7. William Taylor Spear was born 29 September 1848/49, died 15 March 1930 and married Arva Tennessee Elam, c1871. Arva reported in 1900 having given birth to 10 children with 9 surviving. This family hasn’t been found in 1880, which is problematic with the missing 1890 census. Also, the ages of their children, as with Martha, sometimes vary by 5 or 6 years. That is a huge problem, as it appears Arva might have had two sets of twins. So, for now, I am assuming that they were the parents of 9 children who lived to adulthood. James, Martha and Ambrose were the only ones at home in 1900, so I am taking the word of others for the names of their other children: Lydia, born 3 March 1872, died 4 March 1947, Barren County, Kentucky, married Samuel Lawrence Rush, after 1910, had no children; Nancy Jane, born 9 December 1873, died 29 March 1930, married John Newton Watson, 31 October 1891, Clay County, Tennessee; Mary Belle, born 24 December 1876, died 9 December 1954, Clay County, Tennessee, married Wiley White Thompson, 8 October 1896, Clay County, Tennessee; Alvis, born 12 April 1881, died 9 September 1939, married Alice Long, 28 February 1906, Clay County, Tennessee; Martha, born 12 April 1881 or 1886, died 11 February 1972, said to be twin to Alvis, who isn’t found i n1900 at home or anywhere else. Martha had at least three children, but no marriage record has been found for her. She is variously listed as single, divorced and widowed in the censuses. Some say she married James Spear; Joel, born 28 December 1883, died 14 January 1905, unmarried, twin; James Harrison, born 28 December 1883, twin to Joel, died 17 May 1971, married Maggie Florence Spear; Ambrose, born 10 September 1887, died 18 August 1920, unmarried; Burr, born 6 January 1880, died 18 January 1968, married Mary Lou Bertha (Barger) (Roach), 4 October 1904, Clay County, Tennessee.
Joseph Bledsoe Spear was born 10 June 1857, died 22 August 1916, Cumberland County, Kentucky and married Martha Elizabeth Long, 18 January 1880, Clay County, Tennessee. It is uncertain how many children they had. In 1900, Martha reported giving birth to 11, with 4 surviving, but there were 7 children at home. I think someone erred when recording the number of living children, as in 1910, she reported have given birth to 12 children with 7 surviving, which matches records I have found. Also, with children Cora and William, there are links online to marriages and deaths. However, even the birth month doesn’t match the 1900 census. With so many Spears in the neighborhood and all the cousins they married, I hesitate to link William and Cora to spouses. Therefore, I believe they were the parents of 12 children, with 8 identified: Cora B., born December 1881, died after 1900; William T., born April 1885, died after 1900; Walter F., born 4 August 1889, died 29 April 1967, married Vela Spear, c1913; Sarah Cassie, born 9 December 1892, died 24 December 1915, married Marion Burr Spears, c1908; Dora E., born 22 March 1891/94, died 18 December 1919, Monroe County, Kentucky, married Oliver Hoffman, 29 March 1917, Clay County, Tennessee; Burr M., born 29 March 1897, died 17 October 1961, married Rosie Estella Adams, 4 August 1918, Clay County, Tennessee; Iva, born April 1899, died before 1910, no further record; Lola Edna, born 26 August 1906, died 13 September 1923, married James Carl Spear, c1920.
William and Hannah (Dulworth) Spear had 55 known grandchildren, not all of whom grew to adulthood and married, but they have many descendants today.