Britney Spears Family History
Britney Jean Spears was born on December 2nd, 1981 to Jamie and Lynne Spears at McComb in Pike county, Mississippi. She was the middle child of three, between her elder brother Bryan James and her younger sister Jamie.
From a protected church and family background in Mississippi, Britney started out on her pop music career at the age of sixteen when Jive Records heard her singing tape and signed her to a contract. Her first hit record Baby One More Time shot to the top of the Billboard charts in January 1999 and her fame was established.
Later on, things did not go so well. She married and divorced and lost custody of her sons. Worse was to follow. In 2008 she was committed to the psychiatric ward at the UCLA Medical Center and the court placed her under a conservatorship led by her father Jamie Spears and his attorney. By this mechanism the court gave them complete control of her assets.
Although her singing career continued, Britney was not to be released from her conservsatorship until November 2021. Her 2023 memoir The Woman in Me is an angry account of how she has felt trapped in her life, first by poverty, then by fame, and then by her family.
These Spears have English ancestry and some of Britney’s distant forebears may have been in Barbados and Liberia. In America they were perhaps first sighted in Virginia, but then more definitely in South Carolina.
William Spears was born around 1740 in Union county, South Carolina. He married Rozanne Skissum in 1768 and they had one son William, born in 1773 and a second Joshua, born much later in 1790. The son William left home in 1792, following other pioneers through the Cumberland Gap to Kentucky soon after it had been made a state. William’s mother followed him and neither returned, living and dying in Kentucky.
William the father remained in South Carolina, perhaps for business reasons. He was said to have sold horses and supplies to the Continental army during the Revolutionary War. Another son James appears to have stayed with or near his father in South Carolina. James was given William’s estate when William died in 1830 “where James must pay his brother Joshua $60 if he returns to South Carolina to collect it.”
Spears in Louisiana and Mississippi
Joshua by this time had migrated south to St. Helena parish in Louisiana. This was where he had married Mary Watson in 1815 and where their first son was born two years later. Joshua died at Kentwood in Tangipahoa parish in 1845 and was buried in the Baptist church cemetery there.
For generations to come the Spears family would attend the First Baptist Church in Kentwood, Louisiana, whether they lived there or across the stste line at Osyka or McComb in Pike county, Mississippi. Britney herself sang in the Baptist church choir when she was a child.
This was and is a tightly knit community in what is sometimes called the Bible Belt. Here conservative evangelical Protestantism has been particularly strong with families closely connected. Britney’s parents Jamie and Lynne were in fact third cousins – Lynne’s maiden name was Bridges; while Jamie’s great grandfather had married a Mary Bridges of the same family line.
Britney’s own line ran from Joshua to Pascal (the youngest of his sons) and then to June Bacot, to June Austin, and to her father Jamie Spears.
June Austin had joined the U. S. Air Force and fought in the Korean War. Later he was a police officer with the Baton Rouge City Police. But there was perhaps a dark side to him. Married three times, he had many children to whom he was reportedly abusive. His first wife Emma, the mother of Jamie, had died at the age of thirty-one when she killed herself in front of the grave of her dead son.
Emma’s suicide was cited as a reason that some of the Spears family were so concerned about Britney at the time of her problems in 2008.
Britney Spears’ Family Tree
- William Spears in South Carolina (1742-1830) m. Roxanne Scissum (1745-1830) in 1768
- – William Spears (1773-1838), died in Kentucky.
- – Joshua Spears (1790-1845), died in Louisiana.
- Joshua Spears m. Martha Watson (b. 1795) in 1815
- – Joshua Spears (1817-1893)
- Joshua Spears m. Bethany McElveen (1819-1898)
- – Andrew Spears (1845-1935) m. Sara Wall
- – Martha Spears (1848-1934) m. Andrew Williams
- – Sarah Spears (1850-1882) m. William Willson
- – William Spears (1852-1941) m. Irene Owen
- – Moses Spears (1854-1895) m. Mary Waller
- – Lemuel Spears (1857-1936) m. Georgie Owen
- – Pascal Spears (1862-1913)
- Pascal Spears m. Mary Bridges (1866-1950)
- – Mary Spears (b. 1886-1957) m. Charles Raborn
- – Rosaline Spears (1892-1977) m. James McDaniel
- – June Bacot Spears (1896-1986)
- – Samuel Spears (1898-1978) m. Lucille Wansley
- – Pernell Spears (1902-1966) m. Bessie Chandler
- June Bacot Spears m. Nova Mae Gill (1913-1997)
- – June Austin Spears (1930-2012)
- – Archie Spears (b. 1932)
- – James Spears (1934-2019) m. Jenny Sue Kizer
- June Austin Spears m. Emma Forbes (1934-1966) and then rem. Ruth Vernado nee Ott and JoAnn Blackwell
- – James (Jamie) Spears (b. 1952)
- James (Jamie) Spears m. Lynne Bridges (b. 1955) in 1975
- – Bryan James Spears (b. 1977) m. Garciella Sanchez (now divorced)
- – Britney Spears (b. 1981)
- – Jamie Lynn Spears (b. 1991) m. Jamie Watson
- Britney Spears m. Kevin Federline (b. 1978) in California in 2004, divorced in 2007; rem. personal trainer Sam Asghari (b. 1994) in 2022, divorcing in 2023
- – Kevin was awarded custody of their sons Sean (b. 2005) and Jayden (b. 2006) in 2007
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