International Speare Family News
Internet Edition

1st Edition June 2002


Welcome to the 1st Internet Edition of the International Speare family news.  This edition will have less Graphics but contain the same articles unless they are already available on this website.

A long way from Devon

By Brian Spear

Christchurch New Zealand is about as far as one can travel from Devon, but it is here that there is an outpost of the SPEAR family from Inwardleigh.

Family tradition has it that Samuel Spear walked from Devon to Yorkshire in the early 1850s. The reason for such a long relocation is not known for sure but maybe one will be found soon. Samuel married Elizabeth JACKSON and their first born, Thomas Jackson SPEAR, entered the world on 4th March 1854 at Hatfield, East Riding, Yorkshire.

Thomas married Rosanna INGHAM and it was their youngest, Cedric Charles SPEAR, who left for the Antipodes shortly before the Great War. He married Eva Clara GUDSELL here in New Zealand, on 25th February 1914. Their only son was my father, Roy Bramwell SPEAR (1918-1996). Cedric & Eva’s daughter  Daphne GRIFFITHS (1915- lives here in Christchurch  not far from my home.

My sister, Elizabeth, lives in Mid Wales while I have a son in Auckland New Zealand, one in Ireland and a daughter here in Christchurch.

Christchurch was established in 1850 with a number of immigrant ships arriving bringing families from UK. It still bears the characteristics of that early English influence while moving forward as a truly international city.

230 Years since Richard Speare & Mary Carpenter Married

The Speare family tree as it stands at the moment starts with Richard Speare & Mary Carpenter. 

It is 230 years ago this year on the 11th August that they were married in Inwardleigh Church near Okehampton in Devon, England

Richard & Mary had 4 Children that are currently know about Johanna Baptised 27th April 1774,  Mary Baptised 20th May 1776, Richard Baptised 12th January 1778 & Samuel Baptised 28th January 1781.

The family tree today has over 2,000 people on it and has branches across the UK and in Canada, America & Australia.

In April Speare Family members got together from across the UK for the 1st  ever Get Together in the UK

George Walter Speare

15 March 1863 - 26 August 1941

George Walter was also know as Walter George.  I visited  My 3rd Great Uncles Grave whilst in Southampton, Ontario in October 2001 with Donna & Brian Fortman & Irene & Bill Allen.

 Vicky Cooper, Collections Coordinator/Registrar Bruce County Museum & Archives in Southampton, Ontario, Canada writes.

 In a new book which was printed late last year, Mr.John Weichel has completed and put in print years of research....on page 152 it reads:


Plot 24C/W.George Speare:  Walter George Speare was issued the deed to this plot on March 10, 1896, the same day that his wife Sarah Anne died at Southampton, age 33 years.  The Spears had four children, Margaret, George, Susan and Barbara.  Mr. Speare was born in Devonshire, England, came to Hamilton, Ontario, then to Southampton sometime in the mid-1890's.  George Speare was a blacksmith by trade, but also served as a town and county constable.  In May of 1900, he was appointed village constable here.  He was paid $10 a month, and council had high hopes that he would be able to enforce the local bylaw, 'several of which are not worth the paper they are written on'.  His obituary, written following his death on August 26, 1941 says, "although not of large physique, he acquired the reputation of never failing to bring in his man".  He was a past master of St., Lawrence Lodge AF & AM.  Mr. Speare married again, and he and his second wife, Christina (Gray) had a daughter, Andrea, in 1899.  Mrs. Speare died in April of 1940.  Her mother, Georgina Gray, was living with the Speares at the time of the 1901 census.  There is no record of her death in local ledgers.

A Musician’s Tale

Paul Speare describes the ups and downs of a career in the pop industry.

So there I was, minding my own business, getting on with my fledgling career as a flute teacher, and playing sax in semi-professional bands in my spare time, when at the end of 1980 the telephone rang.  It was the sound engineer from a Birmingham recording studio where I’d recorded demo tapes with a couple of bands.  One of his clients, Dexys Midnight Runners - a band with one and a half hits to their name - were now looking for new members, including a tenor sax player.  Within a fortnight I had made my first television appearance on Christmas Top of the Pops - miming to the band’s number 1 hit, “Geno”, which I hadn’t even played on - dressed in a hooded ‘pixie jacket’, boxing boots and a prominent headband.

 As 1981 commenced, Dexys were going through lean times financially and I was paid a barely adequate living wage until, hopefully, some further success would come our way.  We rehearsed every day in a freezing derelict warehouse, and had to scrape together the money to travel to London for recording sessions and TV appearances.  Sometimes the money would run out, and we’d have to fend for ourselves until the record company would top up the band’s overdraft (purely as an advance on future earnings, of course).  There were a few gigs in Britain and Europe – some of them notable (we were the first band ever to play at London’s historic Old Vic Theatre) – and a small number of single releases, but only one (now forgotten) crept into the top 20. 

It wasn’t until 1982, when we’d recorded the band’s second album “Too Rye Ay”, and a change of image had taken place, that things were looking up commercially.  There was one song, “Come On Eileen”, which looked likely to be successful, and the Celtic sound – complete with fiddles, banjo and accordion - developed during the previous few months was quite different to any other bands at the time.  However, the last year and a half had taken its toll, and some of us felt that we needed to look for pastures new….        to be continued

Bill Speare of Speare Tools

William John Speare Age 48 finished High School in 1972 and then went to the University of New Mexico and studied Architecture and received a degree in Fine Arts with a major in Architecture.  I moved back to Illinois and worked with my father Clifford Speare in the carpentry trade. In the late 70's I started building my home in Wisconsin. I designed and built  my house to be energy efficient by using the sun.

In the mid 90's I started developing tools and started Speare Tools. In 1997 I entered my Nail Starter and Quick Cutter Hole Saw in the National Hardware Show in Chicago Illinois. Out of 1800 new products that were entered into the new product competition my two tools won first place in 2 of the possible 40 categories. The Nail Starter is designed to fit any type of hammer and hold all types of nails. This revolutionary new product allows you to start nails with ease freeing up your other hand. The Quick Cutter Hole Saw is designed to cut perfect  holes from 2 1/2'' 63 mm to 7" 178 mm in drywall and ceiling tile for recessed lights, speakers, and vents. It comes with a clear dust shield to collect the dust when cutting.

We are selling our products in the large home improvement stores and on the internet.  Look us up at .