No. 7 Richard Anthony born in 1817

According to Audrey Mae’s map diagram, Richard Anthony’s gravestone is Gravestone Number Seven. Richard Anthony is Audrey’s great-grandfather and he is a seventh- generation Spencer in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Using her Smith-Corona typewriter in the 1980s, Audrey Mae typed the following mini-biography of Richard Anthony Spencer:


Bruce MacGunnigle – 9

Richard Anthony was the first child of Roby and Richard Anthony (“Deacon”) Spencer.   The father, Richard Anthony (“Deacon”) Spencer (b.5-11-1798   d.12-19-1889), was always referred to as “Deacon Richard” whereas his son was always referred to as Richard Anthony (b.9-1-1817–d.5-27-1845).

Richard Anthony Spencer married Ann Almy (née Tarbox, 2-13-1823–d.11-24-1904) on September 18, 1842. She was the daughter of Hiram and Eunice Tarbox. According to “Spencer Genealogy”, printed material in E.G. library,  the couple was “married in New York City”.  Richard Anthony died in May of 1845.  A year before Richard Anthony’s death, their daughter was born in Versailles, Connecticut.

Richard Anthony died when he was only twenty seven years old but Audrey Mae (née Spencer) MacDonald, the carrier of the oral tradition in the Spencer family, did not know how he died. Dying young was quite unusual as the Spencer men had longevity. Daughters of the American Revolution membership applications have Richard Anthony’s place of birth as East Greenwich,R.I. and his place of death as New York City. However, more research is needed as to his place of death. What is definite is that Richard Anthony’s gravestone is Gravestone Nunber Seven in the Spencer Family Historical Cemetery. His gravestone is between his father’s stone and his daughter’s stone. Audrey did not know the circumstances of her great grandfather visiting, marrying, and possibly living and dying in New York. More research is needed.

Richard Anthony Spencer left one child, Anna Maria (pronounced Mar-eye-ah), born in Versailles, Connecticut:

ams-8-anna-maria-mar-eye-ahAnna Maria (pronounce Mar-eye-ah) had just turned one year old when her father died. The child was raised in East Greenwich with the extended Spencer family. She and her aunt, Esther Amanda (née Spencer) Briggs (“Aunt Mandy”), were raised like sisters as they were only eight years apart. Esther Amanda was the youngest child of Richard Anthony (“Deacon”) and Roby.  Anna Maria (Mar-eye-ah) was the child of Richard Anthony (“Deacon”) and Roby’s eldest son, Richard Anthony.

Richard Anthony  and his daughter, Anna Maria (pronounce Mar-eye-ah) are buried in the Spencer Family Cemetery (aka E.G.No.9) on Middle Road. Richard Anthony’s wife, Ann Almy (née Tarbox) is not buried in the Spencer family cemetery. Daughters of the American Revolution membership application records show that Ann Almy Tarbox, although born in East Greenwich, R.I., died in Norwich, Connecticut.

In 2001 Audrey Mae retold web author that Ann Almy went off to New York, Boston, etc. Audrey Mae’s oral tradition was that Ann Almy was a “high flyer” and she couldn’t be bothered with raising children. (Web author’s thoughts: Was she just a free spirit who liked city life over farm life?  Farm life was only for the strong and healthy. Farmers, male and female, worked was from sunup to sundown.)

Ann Almy lived sixty-nine years beyond her first husband, Richard Anthony Spencer. Ann Almy’s second husband was Joseph Briggs who paid his stepdaughter, Anna Maria (pronounced Mar-eye-ah), $50.00 if she would name one of her sons after him. She named her second son, William Joseph Briggs Spencer. This great-grandson of Richard Anthony (“Deacon”) Spencer and grandson of Richard Anthony Spencer and son of John Johnson Spencer, has Joseph Briggs’ name but is no blood relation to Joseph Briggs. During his lifetime, William, the father of John Edward, Edith Anna and Audrey Mae, always signed his name as William J.B. Spencer.

According to Audrey Mae’s gravestone numbering system, Richard Anthony’s gravestone in the Spencer Family Cemetery is gravestone number seven, between his father’s gravestone number six and his daughter’s gravestone number eight.

Spencer, Johnson, Goff and Tarbox descendants, if you have any additional information on Richard Anthony Spencer (1817-1845), please add a comment to this web site and the web site editor will add this to the site. Thanks.”