Select Spears Miscellany

 

Here are some Spears stories
and
accounts over the years:

 

Spiers, Speirs, Spear and Spears Today

 

Numbers (000’s) Spiers Speirs Spear Spears Total
UK     3     4     2     2    11
America     1     4    10    15
Elsewhere     2     1     1     2     6
Total     6     5     7    14    32

 

 

Spiers as Spy-ers



A Spiers family of Evesham in Worcestershire
pronounced their name as spy-ers and often spelt it as Spires.  This pronunciation seems to have extended
across the West Midlands.

Richard Spiers
was Mayor of Oxford in the 1850’s.  His
father was a hairdresser and perfumer whose shop was on the High Street
in the
town.  The family joke was that when
Wordsworth wrote his poem Oh Ye Spires of Oxford, it was in
fact in
praise of this shop
.

 

 

Lady Anne Speirs and Her Curse


The Speirs family was once a very wealthy family at
Linwood in Renfrewshire.  They lived in
Bumbrae House and owned much of the surrounding land.
Five members of the Speirs family were buried
in the family vault under the old parish church hall.
It was said that if the vault were ever
disturbed then Lady Anne Speirs would haunt the villagers of Linwood. 

The origin of the curse is shrouded in mystery.  But the
“wrath” of
Lady Anne was first said to have been incurred in the early 1980
s with
the closure of the nearby Rootes
car plant,
Linwood’s main employer.
 The
plant ceased
operations in 1981
, five years after the parish church was pulled
down.  More recently, s
uperstitious
locals
have warned that the plans by Tesco to move
the remains of
the five Speirs from their crypt and
reunite them with their descend
ants in
North Berwick
will bring tragedy to the town.

However,
local historians have asserted that Lady Anne Speirs was not among
those Speirs
being moved (in fact she was unrelated) and that the curse has no
foundation.

 

Edward Spiers Who
Became Edward Spears

Edward
Louis Sp
iers changed
his name from Spiers to Spears in 1918.
 He
claimed that the reason
was his irritation at the mispronunciation of Spiers
.  Yet it is
possible that he wanted a
more Englishlooking
name
, something
more in
keeping with his rank as a
Brigadier General
and head of
the British Military Mission to the French War Office.
 

He
denied that he was of Jewish stock
.  But his
great
grandfather
had been
an Isaac Spiers of Gosport who
had married
Hannah Moses, a shopkeeper
in the
same town.
  His
ancestry was
known.

Old John Spiers,
Mississippi Pioneer

John Spiers was a
hunter, woodsman and trapper
and a
legendary character
in the early history of what is now Pearl
River county, Mississippi.  He was born in the state of
Georgia in 1799.
 He grew
up in the great
forest section of
western
Georgia where few people except
Indians
lived.
 He
learned well the way of
wild things and Indians as he grew up.
 

John
came to Hancock
county (now Pearl
River
county)
about 1816 or 1817.
 One
story
has it that he
was having
problems with
a
teacher in Georgia
.  On one day
it came to a
head and John pulled out his pocket knife and cut across the front of
the
teacher’s suit.
 After
the incident he was
afraid to go home to his father and face the consequences, so he ran
away.
  Another
story
has him joining General
Andrew Jackson’s
army and coming to Mississippi that way. 

John
settled in the
Henleyfield area on the old river.
  He killed
hundreds of bears over a period of years
and was almost solely responsible for ridding the area of wolves.
  He was the forefather
of the many Spiers living in this area.
  Eight of
John’s
nine sons fought in the Confederate army during the
Civil War and two
died in the war.
  John
lived a long life and died in 1889.

Reader Feedback – Christian
Spears in
Kentucky

Christian
Spears,
a young German immigrant, arrived in Kentucky in 1778 shortly after
Daniel Boone
had been captured by the Indians.  Two
years later Christian and his friend John Burger registered their land
claims
right behind Daniel in January 1780 after he had escaped.

When
1,200 Indians
and British soldiers came to Ruddell’s Settlement in Bourbon county and
took these
two friends along with almost 350 others, everyone’s life
changed.  Murder,
slavery, captivity, and families were torn apart and kept by the
Indians while
those who were marched to Detroit experienced great suffering along the
way.

Some
joined the British army in Detroit; some were imprisoned in Detroit or
Montreal; some were captives there for several years, yet allowed to
roam the
area working for others, and some settled in Canada and lived their
lives
there.

LaRoux
Gillespie’s 2015 book Christian
Spears in Kentucky
is the story of Christian and the people he
interfaced
with over the period from 1778 to 1811. 

LaRoux
Gillespie

 

Noah and John
E. Spears

Noah and John E. Spears were both descendants of the
Virginia-born Christian Spears who had moved to Kentucky at the time of
the
Revolutionary War.  Noah was born in
Kentucky in 1828, John in Missouri in 1836.

Laroux Gillespie, a descendant, has written an account of
their times in
his History and Descendants of John E. And Noah Spears.  The book describes the life, travels and
descendants of these pioneers.

Their
story starts out in Missouri.  It was the
Union soldiers that destroyed their peace in Cass county, Missouri.  They made the journey to Vernon, Texas and
then, when opportunity presented itself, to Grady county in Oklahoma
.

 

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