Who are the parents of Thomas P spencer ?

+3 votes
When was he born ?

He was married to Sadie (Davis) Spencer

His Son is ward spencer 1865-1962

Ward spencer was married to Ruth spencer 1895-1985

Ohio, Pennsylvania area
in Genealogy Help by Dawn Spencer G2G1 (1.3k points)

1 Answer

+3 votes

I often take a circuitous path, spiraling backwards as I gather information that will hopefully help achieve the end goal. Here's my path:

Here's a marriage record for Ward J. Spencer to Ruth B. Lewis on 24 Oct 1913 in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Ward lists his birthplace as Youngstown, Ohio, and his parents as Thomas (Spencer, deceased) and Sarah Davis.

In this death certificate, Sue (Spencer) Eisenmann, born 1890 in Youngstown, also lists Thomas Spencer and Sarah Davis as her parents. She (or really, her informant, possibly a daughter?) also lists their birthplaces: Thomas (London, England) and Sarah (Niles, Ohio). This seems to be Sue's birth record

Here is Thomas with wife and daughter Minnie in the 1880 Census. He's a plumber in Youngstown, Ohio, born in England about 1841.

Thomas' widow Sarah Ann "Sadie" (Davis) Spencer dies 26 Jul 1939. Her death certificate leads me to her obituary in the Cleveland Public Library's Necrology File, which has this entry: "Spencer: Sarah Ann (nee Davis), widow of Thomas and mother of Minnie D. Spencer of New York City, Sue M. Eisenmann and Ward J. Spencer of Cleveland, and grandmother of Louis, Richard and John Spencer, passed away July 26, 1939. Private funeral services at the late residence, 3293 Clarendon rd., Friday, July 28 at 1 p. m. Burial at Niles, O.

Sarah/Sadie is also listed as widowed at the time of the 1910 US Census.


No real sign of Thomas outside of his entry in the 1880 Census. Latest mention that I can find of him (so far) is his entry as father in Susannah's birth certificate on 4 Oct 1889 in Youngstown. It's a bit of a dead end, for now.

by Marta Johnson G2G6 Mach 1 (17.7k points)
Amazing and so helpful thank you all so much!
Happy to help! So what's next? I'd try to find mention of Thomas or his wife/children in the 1900 US Census. If he's alive at that point, his entry would include the year he emigrated to the USA and when/if he was naturalized. With that information you can go looking for him in ship manifests or court records.

If he was already dead by 1900, then you might try looking for mention of him in a local newspaper, such as the Youngstown Vindicator or the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The Cleveland Necrology file didn't have an entry for him, which is discouraging but not a guarantee.

Death Certificates for Minnie or Ward might also yield more specific or differing info on Thomas' birth location. Or they may give reinforcement to London, England.

A few directions you can go. It's not a total dead end.

Thomas' daughter Minnie died in 1962. According to the Cleveland Necrology File, her obit was published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on 10 Apr 1962. It's summarized "Spencer. Minnie D. Spencer, sister of Ward J.; aunt of John H., Lewis F. and Richard A. (deceased), Saturday, April 7, 1962; her home was at 2500 Derbyshire Rd. Friends may call at Chas. Melbourne & Sons, 12737 Euclid Ave., where services will be conducted by Rev. Russell H. Bishop of the First Baptist Church, Tuesday, April 10, at 1 p. m. Interment at Niles, O."

Minnie's record in the  "Ohio, Death Index" supports this with Ohio death certificate #26834. She died at home in Cleveland Heights, and was single. No parents are listed in the digital entry. On Ancestry.com, her marital status is more specifically marked "never married".

Regarding that "never married" part. It seems that Minnie quite seriously intended to get married at one point. She was issued a license in Cuyahoga County to marry Earl Ross in 1916. The record shows that they never completed that process.

Thomas' daughter Sue Eisenmann (whose death certificate is linked above) is also in the Necrology File. Her entry: Eisenmann: Sue M., (nee Spencer), beloved wife of Louis C. of Weymouth, O., sister of Minnie D. Spencer, and Ward J., aunt of Louis F., Richard A., John H. Spencer, member of the U. S. armed forces, passed away suddenly Nov. 3, 1943. Now at the Koebler Funeral Home, 1966 E. 82d st. and Euclid ave. Services there Saturday, Nov. 6, at 1 p. m. Youngstown and Medina (O.) papers please copy.

All of your helpful information is so appreciated! I am looking through the England -whales census  and I am having such a hard time finding his parents . I do know we are supposed to be connected to Gerrard Spencer  1614-1685 but linking between Thomas and Gerrard has been difficult. Thank you again !
How are you looking for Thomas' parents? Do you have an idea of his birthdate or his parents names, or are you looking at all Thomas P. Spencers born around 1841 in London? I imagine there would be a lot of them. How will you recognize the right one?
His entry in the 1880 Census was enumerated on 4 Jun 1880. At that time, Thomas was 39 years old. That suggests that he was born between 5 Jun 1840 and 4 Jun 1841. "London" could mean London proper, or someplace smaller in the vicinity. Like a small town in SW England in Middlesex, Essex, Surrey, Kent, or Hertfordshire. (Of course, this is all assuming the information we have so far uncovered is accurate.)


Births in London for Thomas Spencer, reasonably close to that window of time:

Robert Thomas Spencer, born in 20 May 1840 in Westminster St. Margaret, London. Baptised 25 Apr 1841, son of Robert Thomas Spencer (which makes him a junior, and could have been known by his second name) and Elizabeth Blake. This Robert Thomas volunteered for the Royal Navy on     6 May 1855.

Thomas Spencer, born 3 Mar 1841 in Camberwell, London. Baptised in Saint Giles, Camberwell on 4 Apr 1841, son of Ann & Samuel Spencer. This Thomas seems to still be in England in the 1871 Census, married with 3 children.

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