According to Audrey Mae’s artistically designed cemetery map and Audrey Mae’s gravestone numbering system in her Spencer Historical Family Cemetery, Roby Alice Spencer ‘s gravestone is Gravestone Number Forty-eight. Using her Smith-Corona typewriter in the 1980s, Audrey Mae typed the following mini-biography of Roby Alice, an eighth-generation Spencer in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.
Bruce MacGunnigle – 36
Since Roby Alice has the same first name as Roby (née Tarbox) Spencer (Gravestone No. 5), the spouse of Richard Anthony (“Deacon”) Spencer (Gravestone No. 6), this Roby Alice could be a descendant of that couple. More research is needed. (Update: Newsartical of Rathbun brothers’ military service reports Roby Alice is the daughter of Benjamin Spencer (gravestone No. 54).
Roby Alice married George Rathbun. His gravestone is Gravestone Number Forty-Nine. George Rathbun was a Veteran. To honor his military service, Audrey Mae places a USA flag by his gravestone Number Forty-Nine on her artistically drawn map of her Spencer family cemetery. Audrey Mae placed a USA flag by all the Veterans in the Spencer Family Cemetery.
Roby Alice and George’s three children in the Spencer Family Cemetery:
Unfortunately, two of their three children in the Spencer Family Cemetery died as infants. However, their son Marcus lived to age sixty-two.
The two Rathbun brothers, (George–Gravestone No. 49 and John– Gravestone No. 58) married the two Spencer sisters, (Evelyn –Gravestone No. 57 and Roby Alice–Gravestone No. 48).
Article about the Rathbun brothers who married the Rathbun sisters:
According to the above article on the Rathbone (sic) genealogy, the Spencer sisters are the daughters of Benjamin (gravestone No. 54) and Audra (gravestone No. 53).
Audrey Mae’s daughter, Crystal, met one of the Rathbun descendants who gave her copies of the above articles.
There is no doubt that this ninth recorded cemetery in East Greenwich, Rhode Island was recorded as the Spencer Family Cemetery. However, two Spencer sisters married two Rathbun brothers and their gravestones are located by the front gate. Unfortunately, a woman’s birth name is not on her gravestone; only a married name has traditionally been carved on a gravestone.
Because of sloppy research done by the Veteran’s administration, this Spencer Historical Cemetery (E.G.No.9) was recorded in Veteran Records as Rathbun cemetery. This error was because Roby Alice’s husband’s, Veteran George Rathbun, relatively large modern gravestone just happened to be by the front gate. “so they (Veteran’s group) probably poked their head over the gate and read the first gravestone and ignored the sixty some other gravestones.” There are two Rathbun veterans and six Spencer veterans in the Spencer Family Cemetery.
This error, plus the removal of the No. 10 on Audrey Mae’s ancestors’ other cemetery,(straightspencerhistoricalcemetery.org), greatly grieved Audrey Mae. She felt–and she was– the link that connected the Spencer history in East Greenwich area of Rhode Island to the modern day Spencer descendants in Rhode Island, as well as California. These websites carry out her and her sister Edith Anna’s desire to keep the Spencer ancestral history alive in the modern day descendants and in all future descendants from Rhode Island to California and in between.
A bit of irony is that Audrey Mae is buried in a large cemetery in Coventry, Rhode Island called the Rathbun Cemetery, corner of Washington Street and Knotty Oak. Audrey Mae wanted to be buried where her parents were buried. Her parents were buried in that cemetery because the cemetery was (and is) a perpetual care cemetery, located next to their Church, the Knotty Oak Baptist Church. The web site author knew this cemetery to be called the Knotty Oak Cemetery, but recently was told that the section where Audrey Mae and her family of origin is buried is called Rathbun.
“Spencer, Johnson, Goff, Tarbox and Rathbun descendants, if you have any additional information on Roby Alice (née Spencer) Rathbun, please add a comment to this web site and the web site editor will add this to the site. Also, Rathbun and Spencer descendants, if you can get the Veteran’s group to correct their mistake and name the Spencer Family Cemetery correctly, Audrey Mae’s, Edith Anna’s and John (“Ed”) Edward’s children will be forever grateful. 😆 Thanks.”