Friday, April 1, 2011

Meet the Spencer's

Early on in my genealogy travails was the overwhelming desire to learn about my Spencer family line. Spencer was my grandfather's name. My mother, and now I, have a few neat keepsakes from the old farming days: a nifty leather wallet, a recipe for an herbal cure, several receipts for farming implements, and a note with Wright Spencer's life dates. Who was Wright Spencer? I remember my great-grandfather Edward Spencer - he died when I was a teenager. But I had never heard of Wright. At the time, I didn't even know that I wanted to know about him.

I knew that my mother moved to Illinois from Michigan as a child, and that my grandparents were born in Michigan. That's it. It was time to visit a library and learn how to order LDS microfilms and whatever else I could find. The Jackson Accelerated Index census books became my friends as I scrolled through the fairly common "Spencer" in search of a not-so-common "Wright". He had to be a relation, or this slip of paper would unlikely be kept in the wallet.

I did find Wright Spencer living in Ingham County, Michigan in 1880. Was this my family? As I worked more and asked questions of my grandfather, I was indeed correct. My first real line! I really had no idea what I was doing and how tiny my genealogy realm was at the time, but I was hooked.

Wright Spencer 1811-1899