'A Devon family that has branched out Globally'






Speare - From Devon to East London 

compiled by Paul Speare



Richard (m 1772), Samuel (b1781) & Samuel (b 1811) 

The earliest record in the family line is of the marriage of Richard Speare & Mary Carpenter on11th August 1772 in Inwardleigh.  Judging by the parish records the Speares were a prominent family in and around the village of Inwardleigh.


Richards son, Samuel (Edgar’s great-grandfather), was born in 1781 and baptised on 28th January 1781 in Inwardleigh.  He married Sarah Ann Ward on 10th November 1807 in Inwardleigh.   (Sarah Ward’s sister, Mary Ward, married Samuels brother, Richard, on 31st December 1800, also in Inwardleigh)  At the time of writing, there are still descendents of Samuels branch of the Speare family living in Inwardleigh.   Sarah Ann Ward was baptised on 23rd August 1786 in Inwardleigh daughter of Ralph ward & Grace Sprey.  Samuel died in 1843 and was buried in Inwardleigh on 28th May 1843.



At the time of the Samuel (Edgar’s grandfather) baptism on 16th June 1811, Samuel & Sarah were residing at The Wood, a farm in Inwardleigh.  Samuel’s occupation is described in the parish records as "Farmer".


The 1841 census, the first of its kind, gives us a reliable indicator that Samuel was Edgar’s grandfather for three reasons:

1. he has a two-month-old son, William, (Edgar’s father, William, was born 16 March, 1841)

2. his wife is listed as Christian (also named on William’s birth certificate)

3. the farm they occupied, Pressland Down, is just outside Hatherleigh (registered birthplace of William).

Samuel is described as ‘farmer’ and has two older sons, Samuel (6) and John (4).  There are two references to Samuel and Christian (born Parker) in the IGI index: one for their marriage in Mary Tavy (west Dartmoor) on 1 January 1834, and the other for the christening of their eldest son, Samuel, in Iddesleigh, 21 June 1835.

Samuel father of William (Edgar's grandfather) passed away in 1850 and was buried in Inwardleigh on 4th May 1850.  His last residence was the "Workhouse" 


In the 1861 census, Christian (50) is married to a carpenter by the name of John Lock, and living in Bovey Tracey, together with William, now 20 and listed as a carpenter himself.  Here begins the next chapter of the Speare story.


Kathleen Sanders, Hatherleigh History Society




Contact thomas.peeke@googlemail.com