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The ancestors of the Spencer family migrated to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The surname Spencer is for a butler or steward. The surname Spencer was originally derived from the Old French word despensier, of the same meaning.

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The surname Spencer was first found in Leicestershire where "in the eighteenth year of William the Conqueror lived Robertus Dispensator, otherwise called Le Despencer, because he was steward to the king. In the reign of Henry I. there were a William le Despencer and a Thurston Dispencer, but these last were only successors in office, or actual descendants of Robert is not known, and the like uncertainty prevails as to subsequent bearers of the name. " [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

At this time, some of the family held a family seat at Loughborough. "The noble family of Despenser, anciently possessors of the manor, obtained the grant of a market and fairs for the town." [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Later, a branch of the family was found at Yarnton, or Yarington in Oxfordshire. "The church is ancient, with a tower built in 1612, by Sir Thomas Spencer. He also erected the aisle in which he is interred, as a sepulchral chapel for his family, who resided in the old manor-house near the church, the remains of which are now occupied as a farmhouse. In a recess in the aisle is an altar-tomb, with recumbent effigies of Sir William Spencer and his lady; and the churchyard contains a cross embellished with figures in full length, now much mutilated." [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Spencer family name include Spencer, Spenser, Spensor and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Spencer research. Another 289 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1259, 1342, 1402, 1593, 1661, 1621, 1629, 1661, 1570, 1627, 1591, 1636, 1594, 1656, 1621, 1648, 1620, 1643, 1617, 1684, 1601, 1671, 1630 and 1693 are included under the topic Early Spencer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Philip Le Despencer, 1st Baron le Despenser (1342-1402), son and heir of Sir Philip le Despenser of Goxhill, son of Sir Philip Le Despencer; Richard Spencer (1593-1661), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1621 to 1629 and in...

Another 119 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Spencer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Spencer family to immigrate North America:

Spencer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Thomas Spencer settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Kathren Spencer, who landed in Virginia in 1623
  • William Spencer settled in Cambridge Massachusetts in 1630
  • Thomas Spencer settled in Maine in 1630
  • Gerard Spencer, who landed in New England in 1632
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Spencer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Mary Hilles Spencer, who arrived in Virginia in 1701
  • William Spencer, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Mottrom Spencer, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Eliza Spencer, who landed in Virginia in 1711
  • Peter Spencer, who landed in Virginia in 1714
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Spencer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • James Spencer, who arrived in America in 1807
  • John Spencer, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808
  • Henry Spencer, aged 26, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Houghton Spencer, aged 34, landed in Connecticut in 1812
  • Benjamin Spencer, aged 39, landed in West Indies in 1812
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Spencer Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Richard Oliver Spencer, who arrived in Michigan in 1904

Spencer Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Mathew Spencer settled in Bay de Verde, Newfoundland, in 1709
  • William Spencer settled in Newfoundland in 1730
  • Edward Spencer, who arrived in Quebec in 1784
  • Mr. Andrew Spencer U.E. who settled in Sophiasburgh & Ameliasburgh [Prince Edward County], Ontario c. 1784 [3]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  • Mr. Jeremiah Spencer U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [3]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
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Spencer Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • William Spencer, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1824
  • Caleb Spencer, who landed in Canada in 1831
  • Chester Spencer, who arrived in Canada in 1832
  • William Spencer, who arrived in Canada in 1832
  • John Spencer, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1834
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Spencer Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Joseph Spencer, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 29, 1828, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Jane Spencer arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Katherine Stewart Forbes" in 1837
  • Sarah Spencer arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince Regent" in 1839
  • Harriet Spencer arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince Regent" in 1839
  • Maria Spencer arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince Regent" in 1839
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Spencer Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • J Spencer landed in Bluff Harbour, New Zealand in 1824
  • J Spencer landed in Old Bluff, New Zealand in 1834
  • J Spencer landed in Taranaki, New Zealand in 1840
  • S Spencer landed in Taranaki, New Zealand in 1840
  • Abel Spencer, aged 27, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Oriental" in 1840
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  • John Spencer (1946-2005), American Emmy Award winning actor, best known for his role as White House Chief of Staff Leo McGarry on the NBC political drama series The West Wing
  • Octavia Lenora Spencer (b. 1972), American Academy Award, BAFTA and Golden Globe Award winning actress
  • Percy LeBaron Spencer (1894-1970), American engineer and inventor of the microwave oven
  • Joel Spencer (b. 1946), American mathematician
  • Emerson Lane "Bud" Spencer (1906-1985), American athlete, winner of gold medal in 4x400 m relay at the 1928 Summer Olympics
  • Raymond Spencer (1933-2016), English professional footballer
  • Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer KCMG (1860-1929), English-born, Australian biologist and anthropologist
  • John Spencer (1935-2006), English professional snooker player, 1972 World Champion
  • Herbert Spencer (1820-1903), English philosopher, biologist, anthropologist and sociologist, best known for coining the expression "survival of the fittest"
  • Roger David Spencer (b. 1945), English-born, Australian horticultural botanist
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Spencer Historic Events



Empress of Ireland

  • Mr. Charles Herbert Spencer, British Bell Boy from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking on May 29th 1914

HMS Hood

  • Mr. Arthur Spencer (b. 1909), English Mechanician 2nd Class serving for the Royal Navy from Hunslet, Leeds, Yorkshire, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking

HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. Standford Spencer, British Petty Officer from Hampshire, England, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died during the sinking

HMS Repulse

  • Mr. Frederick George Spencer, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking, also sailed aboard the HMS Exeter

RMS Titanic

  • Mr. William Augustus Spencer (d. 1912), aged 57, American First Class passenger from New York City, New York who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Mrs. Marie Eugenie Spencer, aged 45, American First Class passenger from New York City, New York who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping in life boat 6
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Dieu defend le droit
Motto Translation: God defends the right.

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Citations



  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X

Other References

  1. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  3. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  4. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  5. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  6. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  7. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  8. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  11. ...

The Spencer Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Spencer Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 15 July 2016 at 12:10.

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