Are the 4 American Spencer brothers related to the Spencers Diana Princess of Wales, if so plainly show the 2 lines?

+4 votes
1.2k views
WikiTree profile: John Spencer
in Genealogy Help by Paula Renee Bradley G2G Rookie (260 points)
There's actually 5 brothers

William Spencer Lt.-1601-Bedfordshire, England-1640-Hartford,Conn, USA

Thomas Spencer-1607-Bedfordshire, England-1687-Hartford, Conn, USA

Michael Spencer-1611-Bedfordshire, England-1653-Essex,Mass., USA

Gerard Spencer II-1614-Bedfordshire, England-1685-Middlesex, Conn, USA

Timothy Spencer-1616–Bedfordshire, England-1704-Middlesex, Conn, USA
Looks like there's been a bad merge.  Spencer-213 should probably have been merged with Spencer-1717, but not with Spencer-206.

As a result, most of the bio on Spencer-206 doesn't belong there.  It should probably be moved to Spencer-1717 as a 1st approximation.
Or maybe it was a disposal merge, and son Robert should have been snipped off in the process.
The Bedford Spencers are the senior line of the 3 well known Spencers (Bedford, Althorp, Churchill-Spencer). This was confirmed by Earl Spencer on his instagram

There were only the "Four Spencer Brothers" (and their sister Elizabeth) who came from Bedfordshire to New England in the 1600s. Not five. The four brothers were William Spencer (1601-1640), Thomas Spencer (1607-1687), Michael Spencer (1611-1653), and Gerard Spencer (1614-1685), sons of Gerard Spencer and Alice Whitbred of Stotfold. There was no son Timothy among the children of Gerard Spencer and Alice Whitbred.

"The Bedford Spencers are the senior line of the 3 well known Spencers (Bedford, Althorp, Churchill-Spencer). This was confirmed by Earl Spencer on his instagram."

True, there are old manuscript pedigrees that show the Spencers of Althorp and the Spencers of Cople and the Spencers of Eton-Socun to all descend from the same Spencers. However, even if the Cople and Eton-Socun families were cousins of the Althorp family, it is not known if the Spencers of Edworth and Stotfold (which is the family of the Four Spencer Brothers) were a branch of the Cople and Eton-Socun families. They may be, but there is not adequate reason to prove they were.

Nicholas III Spencer (Bedford)and his uncles and cousins (Bedford) had settled in Virginia from Bedfordshire, England. Mary Spencer is my Virginia ancestor, born 1609 in Bedfordshire, England to Nicholas Spencer of Cople, Bedfordshire, England. Her brother is Col. Nicholas II Spencer who’s son Nicholas III is mentioned above. Their cousin’s Washington, Mottrom, Pope, Wright, Colepeper settled in Virginia at times. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Spencer

Yes, it is well known that the Spencers of Cople settled in America. Their genealogy is known and well documented.

Whether or not the Four Spencer Brothers were cousins of the Spencers of Cople is a question that cannot yet be resolved. It's quite possible, but as yet unproven.
Not found….yet.

Those and other Spencers came over to America under Rev Hookers sponsorship to sail over. Spencers listed on this invitation:

Four sons, Gerard, William, Thomas & Michael Spencer to Cambridge (now Newton), Mass. in 1632 in the party of Rev Thomas Hooker

  1. William Spencer (1600-1640) - 1632 immigrant to America
  2. Rachel Spencer (1602-1610)
  3. Elizabeth Spencer (1602-1632)
  4. John Spencer (1603-1684)
  5. Henry Spencer (1605-1607)
  6. Thomas Spencer (1607-1687) - 1632 immigrant to America, settled Hartford CT
  7. Anthony Spencer (1608-)
  8. Henry Spencer (1608-)
  9. Richard Spencer (1609-)
  10. Sarah Spencer (1610-1660)
  11. Michael Spencer (1611-1653) - 1632 immigrant to America
  12. Gerrard Spencer (1614-1685) - 1632 immigrant to America, co-founder of Haddam CT in 1662.
  13. Alice Spencer (1615-)
  14. Timothy Spencer (1616-1704)

3 Answers

+4 votes
Without knowing names of the right four brothers, this question cannot be answered.
by George Fulton G2G6 Pilot (509k points)
The "Four Spencer Brothers" are very well known in Spencer genealogical research. They were William, Thomas, Michael, and Gerard, all sons of Gerard Spencer and Alice Whitbred of Stotfold, Bedfordshire, England.
+5 votes
Go to Diana's father's profile.  Use the DNA tool in the drop down menu to find his list of yDNA ancestors.  Go to William Spencer of the four bros. and do the same.
by Chet Spencer G2G2 (2.1k points)
That's a no-go. The y-DNA haplogroup of Diana's father and brother is not available, and thus has not been uploaded to Wikitree.
–1 vote
Unfortunately there is simply no way to tell if the Four Spencer Brothers belonged to a Spencer family that had a patrilineal ancestor in common with the Spencers of Althorp. That's not impossible, but we do not have either documentary or DNA evidence to prove it. Maybe they were a branch of the same Spencer stem, maybe they weren't.
by Jared Olar G2G5 (5.2k points)
edited by Jared Olar
All male Spencer descendants of Bedford, Althorp, Churchill have the exact duplicate Y-DNA (father to son). Bedford Spencers had migrated to the colonies (Virginia, Maryland, New England.) There are male Spencer descendants living in US now. FTDNA.com Spencer dna project has these descendants listed that have tested positive.

"All male Spencer descendants of Bedford, Althorp, Churchill have the exact duplicate Y-DNA (father to son)."

That would be amazing news if it were true. However, the FTDNA Spencer project has no Althorp or Spencer-Churchill y-DNA results. That's because no men of those families has yet had his y-DNA tested.  (My wife is patrilineally descended from Gerard, youngest of the Four Spencer Brothers, so I've been keeping up on Spencer y-DNA work.)  The Spencer-Churchills, by the way, are the senior branch of the old Althorp family.

https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/spencer/about/results

They can if they can reach a male descendant to take the y-dna test.

This “there’s no way we can prove it” is a cop out. When it can be done. You don’t necessarily have to call up Earl Spencer to do it.

FTDNA.COM is the only genealogy website that i know that does y-dna testing. Ancestry.com started it but it is not included in their ancestrydna program. It’s a separate test altogether with results only. That test will not be part of the general autosomal results.

But in general, yes. Cople and Althorpe and Churchill male descendants are related. Whether your results depends on if a group if your looking for proof by dna.

I have one Pope family member on ancestry.com that match me. But it’s autosomal…her last name and her father’s is Pope. Their family tree goes back to my Ann Pope Wright, grandaunt of President. George Washington.

So I checked her tree again for any other ancestors that are mine. Hers is exclusive Pope line with no Washington or allied ancestors.

So I don’t know how our autosomal results would end up like that. But there you are.

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