No. 58 John Rathbun

no-58-john-rathbun-dsc_0336According to Audrey Mae’s artistically designed cemetery map and Audrey Mae’s gravestone numbering system in her Spencer Historical Family Cemetery, John Rathbun’s gravestone is Gravestone Number Fifty-eight.  Using her Smith-Corona typewriter in the 1980s, Audrey Mae typed the following mini-biography of John Rathbun:ams-58-john-rathbun

Bruce MacGunnigle – 54

John is buried in the Spencer Family Historical Cemetery because his first wife, Evelyn Augusta (gravestone No. 57) who died at age thirty-one, was a Spencer.


Evelyn Augusta and their son Alfred died in November of 1879.  She was thirty-one years and their son Alfred was two years old. Web author does not know the cause of their death. Their son, Robert, was a child when his mother and brother died.

Evelyn Augusta is the granddaughter of Richard Anthony (“Deacon”)Spencer (gravestone No. 6) and Roby (née Tarbox) Spencer (gravestone No.5). Evelyn Augusta parents are Audra (gravestone No.53) and Benjamin Spencer (gravestone No. 54). Through Evelyn’s marriage of John, the Rathbun name came into the Spencer line.

Evelyn Augusta (née Spencer) and John Rathbun’s two sons:ams-55-robert-rathbunams-56-alfred-v-rathbun

John had three wives.  His first wife and their two sons are buried in the Spencer Family Cemetery. Apparently, he continued to identify with the Spencers because his third wife, Effie (gravestone No. 59) who lived nine years after his death is also buried in the Spencer Family Cemetery.  His brother George also married into the Spencer line and is also buried in the Spencer Family Cemetery.

According to Audrey Mae’s gravestone numbering system in her Spencer Family Historical Cemetery, the two Rathbun brothers’ gravestones are 49 and 58. 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). According to the following article on the Rathbone (sic) genealogy, the Spencer sisters are the daughters of Benjamin (gravestone No. 54) and Audra (gravestone No. 53).



The Rathbun brothers’s military records are above. John Rathbun was a prisoner of war in Libby Prison in Virginia.  Audrey Mae’s grandfather, John Johnson Spencer (gravestone No.8) was also a prisoner of war at that same prison. Fortunately, both returned home and both men lived to older age–John Johnson Spencer died in 1925 and John Rathbun died in 1909.

Rathbun descendants still live in the East Greenwich area of Rhode Island today (21st century) because above information about the military records were given to Audrey Mae’s daughter, Crystal, when she met the Rathbun descendants.  They were doing research on their ancestors and found them in the Spencer Family Cemetery. Both brothers were in the Civil War and Audrey Mae has a picture of a USA flag by their gravestone in her cemetery map creation.

Spencer, and Rathbun descendants, if you have any additional information on John 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, John Edward (“Ed”)’s and Edith Anna’s children will be forever grateful.  😆 Thanks.”