William Spencer, Hartford Founder

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Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs, SDFH Genealogist

WILLIAM1 SPENCER, HARTFORD FOUNDER (GERARDA) was baptized 11 Oct 1601 in Stotfold, Bedfordshire, England, and died bef. 22 May 1640 in Hartford, CT (probate). He married AGNES HARRIS abt. 1632 in Cambridge, MA, daughter of BARTHOLOMEW HARRIS and ELIZABETH COLLAMORE. She was baptized 06 Apr 1604 in Barnstaple, Devon, England, and died aft. 1680 in Hartford, CT.

William Spencer was one of four brothers who emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony: William arriving in 1631 and first living in Cambridge; Thomas arriving in 1633 and first living in Cambridge, who also removed to Hartford; Jared (or Gerard) arriving in 1634, first living in Cambridge, then removing to Lynn in 1636, to Hartford in 1660, and finally to Haddam, CT; and Michael arriving in 1634, first living in Cambridge, then removing to Lynn about 1637 where he remained until his death.

William Spencer held numerous offices in Cambridge, including that of selectman in 1635, was made Lieutenant of the Cambridge train band 9 March 1636/7, and was a charter member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company. He removed to Hartford in 1639, where in the Hartford land inventory of February 1639/40 he held six parcels: two acres on which his dwelling house stood, sixty-three acres in the Middle Oxpasture, four acres in the Pine Field, ten acres also in the Pine Field, eleven acres and two roods of meadow and swamp in the North Meadow, and ten acres of meadow and swamp on the east side of the Great River.

He was deputy to the General Court in 1639 and 1640, and was surveyor of “armor and other military provisions” for Hartford 8 August 1639. He was appointed with Founder George Wyllys and Founder John Webster to revise the laws of the colony in 1639.

His will was dated 4 March 1640 and was presented 4 May 1640.

Genealogy: “The American Genealogist”, Vol. 27, article “The Four Spencer Brothers, Their Ancestors and Descendants”, by Donald Lines Jacobus (Having Mr. Jacobus as compiler, this genealogy is highly reliable, but does not extend very far in terms of descendants.)

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