Last updated 12 Sep 2021 in Spear–Johnson Family.
Born: in , , , Ireland
Died: Bef 12 Mar 1821 in , Belmont County, Ohio, United States
Child: William Spear (? – ?)
Child: Robert Spear (1792 – 1861)
Child: Joseph Spear (? – ?)
Child: James Spear (1796 – 1855)
Child: Samuel Spear (? – ?)
Child: David Spear (1801 – 1869)
Child: Daniel Spear (1803 – 1859)
Child: Elizabeth Spear (1805 – ?)
Child: Andrew Spear (1806 – 1887)
Research Notes (Conflicts/Spelling/Followup)
Basic Birth and Death Information
James may have been born in County Armagh, Ireland, and buried in Old Egypt Cemetery in Kirkwood Township, Belmont County, Ohio. [research-a-spear-family-history]
Several amateur genealogies suggest that James was born in 1768 in Cullyhanna, County Armagh, and that Daniel and Ann Spear were his parents, but these have little or no public documentation.
Marriage to Elizabeth
James' wife may have been Elizabeth McConnahaw, married before 1789 in Virginia. She may have died before 1830 in Belmont County, Ohio, and been buried in Egypt Cemetery in Kirkwood Township, Belmont County, Ohio. [research-a-spear-family-history]
James' wife was born in Delaware according to the same census record that places James Spear's birth location in Ireland. [census-us-1880-ps-oh-washington-227-x198b]
Could she have been born about 1768? (This may be the year of James' birth.) And could she have been born in Ireland rather than Delaware? If so, Delaware may have been an immigration point, possibly accounting for the location given in son Andrew's census record, noted above.
There may be a record that James and Elizabeth married in 1788 in what was to become Belmont County in 1801. (check Belmont County Deeds, Vol. P, pg 168)
There is a record of "a" James Spear marrying Elizabeth Thurgar in Wapping, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London, England, on 13 May 1788.
Also seen once or twice is the alternate surname for Elizabeth of "McConville." (Note that McConville is a family name located in the Kilmore Parish, as listed in Griffith's Valuation. There was also a James Spear listed here, but this is clearly not the James Spear denoted by this family tree entry.)
There is a record of "a" James Spear (married to Susannah) selling land in Kent County, Delaware, 14 Mar 1800. However, this assumes James married Susannah and had set up a home in Delaware, which is not supported by any other evidence. This James is likely a different Spear lineage.
James and Elizabeth may have also had children (1) John Spear (b. abt. 1790 in Virginia; d. abt. 1830 in Ohio), who married Lydia _____, and (2) Jane Spear (b. abt. 1793 in Virginia; d. 1848 in Adams Township, Coshocton, Ohio), who married _____ Green. [research-a-spear-family-history]
There is a reference at Find A Grave to John Spar in Union Cemetery, in Steubenville, Ohio. Although the site notes a death date of 1884, there is no image of a gravestone.
Old Egypt Cemetery
This cemetery is located in Egypt Valley, which appears to be well-known as a "haunted" place. They town of Egypt, Ohio had a few residents before 1810, but did not become a town until several decades later.
Both Old Egypt Cemetery and the neighboring Salem Church Cemetery are off Salem Ridge Road on local route 343, a few miles north of I-70. (The church is on a spur road. Old Egypt Cemetery has an access road.) The best access appears to be at I-70 Ohio exit 202 (State Highway 800 / Dennison / Barnesville), which is located at Hendrysburg. Follow Ohio Hwy 800 North to N Rd (local route 108), turning north when N Rd. becomes Old National Rd., then east on 343, a gravel/dirt road.
The probate records for James Spear notes that Robert Spear was the appointed administrator. Althouth not explicitly identified as such, Robert is assumed to be a son of James, as noted in this tree. [estate-probate-james-spear-1821]
William and Mead Jarvis are also mentioned in James Spear's probate records. These are believed to be brothers (or a brother and the father) of Cathrine Jarvis, wife of William Spear, was was a son of James Spear. [estate-probate-james-spear-1821]
James purchased a 136-acre farm in Kirkwood Township, Belmont County OH. The legal description is "Range 6, Township 9, Section 33." [research-a-spear-family-history]
Other Spear Surnames
There are many other Spear surnames that may be closely related, distantly related, or completely unrelated. Some of those that I've run across include a Spear lineage in Massachusetts and George Spear of Lurgan, County Armagh, Ireland, whose will was probated in 1742. There are also several James Spear(s): one was a captain in the service of the East India Company, will proved in 1763, one was of Hanover County, Virginia (from the 1782 Continental Census of Virginia), and one was in South Carolina in 1771/3. There are also numerous Speer(s) surnames.
Griffith's Valuation, the first "full-scale" valuation of property in Ireland, was published between 1847 and 1864. Its purpose was to determine liability for support of the poor and destitute. While this valuation took place long after James immigrated to the United States, it may contain related family using the Spear surname. I didn't pull these offline, but they are available at <http://www.askaboutireland.ie/griffith-valuation>. In this record the Spear surname was found in many counties, but I only really checked those in County Armagh. I also didn't search for common spelling varations such as Spears or Speer(s), since this is purely speculation at best.
In County Armagh, the valuation reports Robert (house, offices, and land) and John (land) leased from Sir James M. Stronge, Bt. in Parish Derrynoose, Townland of Drumgar; Thomas (house, office, and land) leased from the Earl of Charlemont in Parish Lisnadill, Townland of Tirearly; Robert (same or different Robert from above?) (two entries, one for land, one for house, office and land) leased from the Count De Salis in Parish Kilmore, Townland of Lisavague; and James (house and land) also leased from the Count De Salis in Parish Kilmore, but in the Townland of Cornascreeb.
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