Category Archives: Spear Family

Edmonson Wright & Naomi Manervia Spear, 1800s, KY

The third and youngest child born to Benjamin Spear and Naomi Crabtree was Naomi, born 5 August 1821, Cumberland county, Kentucky.

Naomi’s name is interesting. she is called Naomi in every record in which she appears, EXCEPT for the 1860 census, where she calls herself Manervia. Therefore, most online trees, including mine, call her Naomi Manervia Spear. Her siblings, Mathias and Elizabeth, both had middle names, so Manervia may be hers.

Naomi Spear married Edmonson Wright, c1849. He was born 20 October 1819 in Fentress County, Tennessee, just across the state line from Cumberland County, Kentucky.

They were the parents of four children, two sons and two daughters, but apparently neither son had any children.

Children (all born in Cumberland County, Kentucky):

  1. Matilda Jane, born 11 May 1850; died 29 February 1912, Cumberland County, Kentucky; married James Almarine Guthrie, c1865. They were the parents of 12 children, 10 of whom lived to adulthood.
  2. Benjamin B., born 13 September 1852; died 26 April 1902, Cumberland County, Kentucky; married Thursey Ann Capp, 18 January 1899, Clay County, Tennessee. Thursey was 22 years younger than Ben and they had no known children. Benjamin may have married to not be alone. He, brother John and their mother Naomi lived together in 1880. John died in March and Naomi passed away 6 months later in September 1897.
  3. Sarah E., born 18 December 1854; died 18 January 1929, Cumberland County, Kentucky; married George E. Whitley, c1878. They were the parents of five children.
  4. John W.G., born 1 March 1857; died 13 March 1897, Cumberland County, Kentucky. He never married.

Edmonson Wright died on 13 August 1879, Cumberland County, Kentucky. Naomi survived him by 18 years, passing away on 24 September 1897, also in Cumberland County, Kentucky.

Mathias Crabtree Spear & Naomi Keen, 1800s, KY

Mathias Crabtree Spear was born 27 June 1811 in Cumberland County, Kentucky. He was undoubtedly named for Mathias Steelman, who died in the 1790s in Surry County, North Carolina. Mathias Crabtree Spear’s paternal grandmother was Ruth Steelman and she was the daughter of Mathias Steelman.

Mathias was the son of Benjamin Spear and Naomi Crabtree, who married c1810.

Mathias married Nancy, c1832. She was born c1816, probably in Cumberland County, Kentucky. I haven’t found documentation, but online information states she was Nancy Keen, daughter of Francis Keen. That is very possible, given that the Spears and Keens were neighbors in Cumberland County. I wish I could find proof – it might be found in records concerning Francis Keen, who I haven’t researched.

Mathias and Nancy were the parents of nine children, born between 1833 and 1858, but only five of them have been found as adults.

Children (all born in Cumberland County, Kentucky):

  1. Squire Jefferson, born 1833; died before 1900, probably in Montague County, Texas; married Nancy Chism, 19 June 1873, Barren County, Kentucky
  2. Abraham Benjamin, born 24 March 1836; died 12 July 1903, Cumberland County, Kentucky; married Nancy Jane Watson, c1865
  3. Nancy C., born 13 March 1838; died 7 August 1885, Barren County, Kentucky; married Joseph Sames, 20 March 1856, Cumberland County, Kentucky
  4. William Pitt, born 31 October 1843; died 23 May 1914, South Haven Sumner, Kansas; married Eliza Jane Noble, 23 December 1870, Barren County, Kentucky
  5. D.M., male, born c1846; died after 1860 census; no further information [Note: Some online trees state he was Dennis Mathias, but no sources provided.]
  6. J.H., male, born c1849; died after 1860; no further record
  7. Francis M., born c1852; died 3 September 1895, Fannin County, Texas; married Melvina Susan Bellamy, 12 June 1872, Barren County, Kentucky
  8. Thomas M., born 9 July 1854; died August 1859, Cumberland County, Kentucky, of croup
  9. Martin L., born c1858; last found boarding in South Haven, Sumner, Kansas and working at a clerk. He was unmarried at the time and no further record has been found.

If you are descended from anyone in this family and can further document more details pertaining to this family, I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment.

What Happened to the Family of Benjamin Spear & Naomi Crabtree, 1800s, KY?

Benjamin Spear (1784-1870+) lived a long life, born in Surry County, North Carolina, but settled in Cumberland County, Kentucky before 1810. Wife Naomi Crabtree, born c1783, died sometime between 1840 and 1850, but Benjamin never remarried.

He and Naomi have at least eight children attributed to them in online trees, and Benjamin himself appears with three wives (two at the same time living in two different states), but the census evidence from 1820-1840, points to only three children surviving to adulthood.

First, let’s do away with two unproven children. There is a realistic looking Jane Spear, reportedly born 31 March 1816 in Cumberland County, Kentucky to Benjamin and Naomi. No a shred of documentation has been found pertaining to this child and, if she ever actually existed, she had died before the 1820 census.

Second, there is a purported son, Abraham Spear, born 2 December 1817, also attributed to Benjamin and Naomi. The 1820 census supports the possibility of Abraham’s existence because there are two male children at home, under 10 years of age.

In terms of females at home, notice that there is one female 26-44, who would be Naomi, and one female under 10, who is their daughter Elizabeth Gwinn Spear.

Benjamin lived with daughter Elizabeth and her husband, James Dulworth, in 1850, so I am quite confident that she is the child in the home in 1820.

Now let’s see what the 1830 census tells us:

We now have Benjamin, as head of household, aged 40-49, one female (Naomi), aged 30-39, one male aged 15-19 (son Mathias would have been 19 years old), one female aged 15-19, who would be Elizabeth) and one female aged 5-9, who would be daughter Naomi.

Back to possible son, Abraham! If there was an Abraham, this boy apparently died before 1830. He would have only been about 13 years old, so not married or out living on his own.

There is an Abraham Spear, born 1817, who married Elizabeth Odle, c1850, who lived in Cumberland County. I think this Abraham has been attributed to Benjamin because his father-in-law was Abraham Crabtree. However, the 1820 census of Cumberland County includes three other Spear families only one door away from Benjamin.

Notice that the Spear living closest to Benjamin was an Abraham Spear with one male under the age of 10 in 1820! Abraham born in 1817 may well be the son of that man.

In any case, by 1830, Benjamin and Naomi had only three children at home, one son and two daughters.

In 1840, Benjamin and Naomi are at home with just one female, aged 15-19 years and that would be their daughter Naomi, born in 1821.

Therefore, although their family is quite small by the standards of the day, it is unknown how many children they might have had who died as young children in between the census years. The second male child at home in 1820 almost surely also died young.

A previous posted extensively covered the family of James Dulworth and Elizabeth Gwinn Spear, so the upcoming posts will cover the families of Matthias Crabtree Spear and his little sister, Naomi Manervia Spear.