According to Audrey Mae’s artistically designed cemetery map and Audrey Mae’s gravestone numbering system in her Spencer Historical Family Cemetery, Evelyn Augusta Spencer’s gravestone is Gravestone Number Fifty-Seven. Using her Smith-Corona typewriter in the 1980s, Audrey Mae typed the following mini-biography of Evelyn Augusta Spencer, an- eighth-generation Spencer in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.
Bruce MacGunnigle – 55
Audrey Mae’s writing show that Evelyn was the first wife of John Rathbun (No. 58).
Evelyn Augusta (née Spencer) and John Rathbun two sons, Robert (No. 55) and Alfred (No.56):
Both Evelyn Augusta and her son Alfred died in November of 1879. She was thirty-one years and her son Alfred was two years old. Web author does not know the cause of their death.
According to Audrey Mae, Evelyn Augusta’s husband, John Rathbun, married two more times. His third wife, Effie E. Kenyon (Gravestone No. 59) is also buried in the Spencer Family Cemetery.
Evelyn Augusta’s parents are Audra Eleanor (Gravestone No. 53) and Benjamin Spencer (Gravestone No. 54). Audra Eleanor’s parents are Richard Anthony (“Deacon”) (Gravestone No. 6) and Roby Spencer (Gravestone No. 5) who are the great, great-grandparents of Audrey Mae, Edith Anna and John Edward, the last Spencers on the Spencer homestead as the Spencers called the farm as late as 2007. Richard Anthony (“Deacon”) Spencer’s parents are Huldah (née Johnson) Spencer (Gravestone No.1) and John Spencer (Gravestone No. 2).
Delightful story re two brothers and two sisters:
The two Rathbun brothers, (George–Gravestone No. 49 and John-– Gravestone No. 58) married the two Spencer sisters, (Evelyn Augusta–Gravestone No. 57 and Roby Alice–Gravestone No. 48).
Article about the Rathbun brothers who married the Spencer 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 four gravestones are located by the front gate. Unfortunately, a woman’s birth name was 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 Evelyn Augusta husband’s, Veteran John 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’s 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 web sites 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, so in 2007 her children followed her wishes. Her parents were buried in the Rathbun cemetery because that cemetery was (and is) 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 immediate family are buried is called Rathbun.
“Spencer, Johnson, Goff, Tarbox and Rathbun descendants, if you have any additional information on Evelyn Augusta (née Spencer) Rathbun, please add a comment to this website and the website 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, John Edward (“Ed”)’s and Edith Anna’s children will be forever grateful. 😆 Thanks.