Monthly Archives: October 2009

Owen kin

Re: Randy Owen, of “ALABAMA”

As mentioned below, Randy’s great grandfather was Joseph Owen, although the county marriage records list him as J.H. Owens. His whereabouts are still unknown after Joseph Earnest was born.
I have my Owens family in 1860 Cherokee County alabama, Blue Pond, with the following census information:
Newton R. Owens, 28
Louisa Owens (maiden name Mitchell), 30
W Owens, 5
John M Owens, 4
Joseph Owens, 2
Mary E Owens, 1

Newton was killed in the Civil War.

From the 1870 census I have what’s left of the same family:
Owins L, 42
William M, 16
John M, 14
Joseph H, 12
Sousannn M, 8

I believe this Joseph H is Randy’s great grandfather.

As I said, I don’t know where he is buried, but Louisa and William are buried at Black Creek Cemetery. Also at Black Creek are Callie Hester, 1895-1959, his wife Ethel B. Spears Hester, 1897-1977, and their son John Clifton Hester (infant-1920).

Speer family – South Carolina/Georgia

SPEER Ancestors

Old Rocky River Presbyterian Cemetery
Calhoun Falls, South Carolina

One of our most notable family lines with respect to the “pioneer heritage” was the Speer family. One of the best documented early Speer ancestor was William Speer, Sr. (1747-1830), who was born in Strebaul, County Antrim, Ireland. William’s father was John William Speer (1723-1771), also an Irishman by birth, but who died in Georgia prior to the Revolutionary War. William, Sr. served several tours of duty in the War of Independence and his life is well documented by his son, William Speer, Jr. (1788-1877). See the Childress/Mathis Family Tree on Roots Web for notes on William Speer, Jr. and further information.

William Speer, Jr. and his family lived for most of their lives around the Calhoun Falls, South Carolina area. There are at least seven Speer interments in the “old” Rocky River Presbyterian Cemetery outside Calhoun Falls. For anyone who really wants a scavenger hunt, one should try to find this “old” Rocky River Cemetery! This cemetery, begun in the 1770’s, was abandoned by the Rocky River Presbyterian Church when it moved to new quarters many decades ago. As of April 2004, there has been a renewed effort to maintain it, as the fresh 6″ diameter tree stumps will attest.

Speer family – South Carolina/Georgia

SPEER Ancestors

Old Rocky River Presbyterian Cemetery
Calhoun Falls, South Carolina

One of our most notable family lines with respect to the “pioneer heritage” was the Speer family. One of the best documented early Speer ancestor was William Speer, Sr. (1747-1830), who was born in Strebaul, County Antrim, Ireland. William’s father was John William Speer (1723-1771), also an Irishman by birth, but who died in Georgia prior to the Revolutionary War. William, Sr. served several tours of duty in the War of Independence and his life is well documented by his son, William Speer, Jr. (1788-1877). See the Childress/Mathis Family Tree on Roots Web for notes on William Speer, Jr. and further information.

William Speer, Jr. and his family lived for most of their lives around the Calhoun Falls, South Carolina area. There are at least seven Speer interments in the “old” Rocky River Presbyterian Cemetery outside Calhoun Falls. For anyone who really wants a scavenger hunt, one should try to find this “old” Rocky River Cemetery! This cemetery, begun in the 1770’s, was abandoned by the Rocky River Presbyterian Church when it moved to new quarters many decades ago. As of April 2004, there has been a renewed effort to maintain it, as the fresh 6″ diameter tree stumps will attest.

Spear/Speir/Speer families in Georgia

Abraham Spears

The First Spear/Speer/Speir families in Georgia

So who was the first Spear/Speer/Speir to travel and settle in Georgia? Although there is no definite proof, it was probably Abraham Spear (or Spears)and Jesse Spears.

The British rewarded loyal and hard working settlers in early Georgia by granting land to these colonists. Records of these grants are documented in British Conveyance Books and some are shown below.

Some Spear/Speir/Spears families remained loyal, or at least sympathetic to the King during the Revolutionary War like Virginia Tobacco Lord Alexander J. Speir.

Others like Indian Affairs Superintendent and Indian Trader Jesse Spears defied the Tories and risked their lives in the bloody fight against the British and the struggle for American independence.

The Abraham Spears outlined below is quite possibly the same Abraham Spears found in Edgefield County, S.C. during the same time period noted. No mention is made in the British Conveyance Book about any land granted to Abraham.

Special notations in parenthesis indicate cross-referenced names found in the book “Spear, Speir, Speer & Friends.”

William Speer – Revolutionary War

CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 3

WILLIAM SPEER, SR.

IN THE

REVOLUTIONARY WAR

Imagine yourself, if you can, recently immigrated to a new county and almost immediately becoming embroiled in a bitter revolution against the most powerful nation on earth! Young William Speer1 found himself in just such a situation when, at the age of 25, he left his home in Northern Ireland and immigrated to America. He arrived on the third of September 1772, surely full of enthusiasm and eager to begin his new life. He lived in Pennsylvania for a few years, perhaps with relatives or friends, and moved to Charleston, South Carolina in 1774 just as the American Revolution was beginning. Due to the war, it would be nine more years before William would settle down, get married and begin a family. This chapter attempts to relate what we know about his Revolutionary War service with the political and military history of South CarolinaA. See CHAPTER 2 for the family history of William Speer.

Speer/Spear men – during Civil War

37th Alabama Regiment of Volunteer Infantry CSA | Slaton – Stalvy

Spear, Thomas
Private
Company C
POW at Missionary Ridge TN on 25 Nov 1863 and sent to Nashville TN, Louisville KY and on to Rock Island Prison IL

Spears, Archibald C (“Arch”)
Rank Unknown (presumed to be a Private as he is also listed as “Musician”)
Company F
Enlisted 10 Aug 1861 (record predated formation of 37th AL CSA); Listed as “Musician”; Paroled at Greensboro NC 1 May 1865 as part of CONSOLIDATED 37th AL CSA Company F

Spears, Henry W
Private
Company A
Age at Enlistment: 32
Enlisted 5 May 1862 at Abbeville AL by A.C. Gorden; Listed as Private on Muster Roll of Company A dated 13 May 1862 at Auburn AL; Served as Teamster Sep & Dec 1862 and Jan 1863; WIA or sick as he signed his parole at Vicksburg MS on 13 July 1863 in City Hospital as a Private of Co. A of the 37th AL Infantry CSA, and is listed among sick or wounded aboard steamer H. Chouteau bound for Mobile AL via New Orleans LA; Died in service of unknown cause at unknown place/date; Claim for deceased soldier filed 14 Sep 1864 by R.A. Spears, widow

Spears, L
Private
Company A
Enlisted (Conscripted?) __ Oct 1864; paroled at Greensboro NC 1 May 1865 as part of CONSOLIDATED 37th AL CSA Company A

Speer (Speir), Alfred A
Private
Company I
Enlisted 28 Apr 1862 at Lafayette AL after serving 12 months in 7th AL Infantry Regiment CSA; Appears on Muster Roll of “Company ’I’ 37th Regiment, Alabama Volunteers at LaFayette, Chambers County, Alabama, March 6, 1862” published in 31 July 1901 issue of LAFAYETTE SUN (LaFayette, Chambers County AL) with Privates as “Speer, Alfred A.”; Witnessed the Confederate Pension application of Mrs. B. H. (Lucey) Hammack, widow of Benjamin H. Hammack (Co. I); Relationship unproven, but possibly related in some manner to Joseph Jarrell (Co. I) as his wife’s name known to be Mary Palestine Spiers – see Jarrell’s record

Williams – coat of arms, surname meaning

Family Tree Maker’s Genealogy Site: Photo

This distinguished family name can be traced as far back as the Domesday Book, with a Robert filius Willelmi recorded in 1086; Richard William lived in Oxfordshire in 1279, and a John Wylyam was recorded in the Subsidy Rolls in Sussex in 1296. Legend has it that the family Williams is descended from Brychan Brecheiniog who was Lord of Brecknock at the time of King Arthur. His seat was at Llangibby Castle in Monmouthshire. The ancient family name motto was “Cywir in Gwlad”. Source: The Heritage Collection. No genealogical connection is implied.

Wright – Coat of Arms, surname meaning.

Family Tree Maker’s Genealogy Site: Photo

The name Wright is occupational from the Old English word “wryhta”, meaning “carpenter, joiner, one who wrought”. Early records show a Petere le Writh in Sussex in 1214 and a Robert le Wrichte was recorded in Essex in 1255. The ancient family motto was “Meritez” (French, meaning “Deservedly”). Source: The Heritage Collection. No genealogical connection is implied.

Native American Speer – James Speer, Cherokee

Cherokee Phoenix Index

Extract of a letter from Colonel Hugh Montgomery to the Secretary of War, dated Cherokee Agency, 21st October, 1828:

“I had occasion to mention to you several times the personal hostility which those people had expressed against Rogers and Maw, on account of their mission to this country, but had hoped that it would end in empty threats; especially after the understood that these men were on the employ and entitled to the protection of the United States Government. But as the times had become alarming to those who are opposed to the emigration business, and as several had enrolled, and a considerable number especially in this neighborhood had agreed to enrol, and we were about to break into some of the most influential families, they seem to have come to the determination to put Rogers (who was the most active) down at all events — and on Friday last, James Speer and Archy Foreman, two half breeds came to the Agency, where they staid [sic] until evening, and I suppose learnt that Rogers had gone over to Calhoun. Foreman crossed the river in the evening, Speers not until dark, when he came into the house where Rogers was sitting, and without speaking a single word to him, struck him on the head with a rock, supposed to weigh near four pounds, which it is thought he took over the river with him on purpose.

Speer Family History

Proceedings of the Fourth Congress at Atlanta, GA., April 28 to May 1, 1892

A powerful and conspicuous Scotch-Irish family in the great commonwealth of Georgia has been that of Speer, furnishing a Supreme Court Justice, a Congressman, a Federal Court Judge, a State Treasurer, and accomplished divines and educators.

The Speers came originally from the Orkney Islands. Col. John Speer, the ancestor of the Georgia family, went from there to Strabane, County Tyrone, Ireland, about the middle of the fifteenth century, and married the rich Miss Maxwell, and led the “Caledon,” or Scotch horse regiment, under William III. William Speer came from Strabane to South Carolina in 1775, and was a revolutionary soldier and patriot the entire struggle, fighting at Ninety-six and Cowpens, S. C, and at the siege of Augusta and the battle of Kettles Creek, in Wilkes County, Ga., as a member of Gen. Pickens’s military family. After the war the state of South Carolina gave him a valuable body of land near the Cherokee Ford, on the Savannah River, in the Abbeville District, where he lived to a great and honored old age, dying about the year 1833.

This old hero was a Presbyterian, with a broad Scotch accent, and a strong mind and character. At the old Presbyterian church on ” Rocky River,” he was leading the singing, and the pastor, who was lining the hymn, followed with the text, which he promptly sang, and then, seeing his mistake, he exclaimed: “Gracious, I sung the text.”

His war career was romantic. Gen. Pickens was exceedingly fond of the young foreigner, and made him his chief scout, and he had some thrilling escapes from the Tories, at one time swimming the Savannah River in midwinter to avoid capture and to save his dispatches. His farm was at the junction of Rocky River and the Savannah. above Augusta. He married in that section, and in addition to his farm he ran a store. His father seems to have been a merchant, and the son took naturally to the calling. His grandson, Alexander M. Speer, ex-Associate Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, now living, remembers him well, and conversed with him often about the revolution, and on one occasion was shown by the old soldier the scars on his ankles, left by manacles worn while a prisoner in the British hulks in Charleston harbor.