The Search for Thomas and Mary in Ireland
Sandy Gibbney left and David Spencer right hard at it on location in Ireland
Over the years quite a few Spencers have tried to find information on Thomas and Mary's origins in Ireland.
For the last 6 weeks Matthew Descendant David Spencer and Genealogist extraordinaire Sandy Gibbney have been hard at work tracking down records related to Thomas and Mary.
Recently David sent a status report.
The mysterious Spencer's of Wicklow County
The excitement was high. I was buzzing and Sandy yawned occasionally as we fronted the Wicklow Library ready to unearth the long history of the Spencer's in Ireland (Wicklow Co).
Visions of finding Thomas's parents history, graves, other members of the clan etc had my camera running warm in anticipation. Wicklow has been fortunate in having an industrious fellow who spent many years recording and cataloging all the headstones in Wicklow Co. Four large volumes!
Sandy and I started browsing and scanning indexes looking for the heritage of the elusive Spencer line. After an hour and four volumes completed, we discovered that there are no Spencer's buried in Wicklow County!
This was crazy. The implication was we are not Irish.... You know, the happy, boozing free rolling types... Just like most of the Spencer's I have known. We must be Poms!!!! Shock! Horror!
Further Guinness to sooth the nerves and realign our thoughts was required. We visited Arklow for perhaps a new story or line to investigate. No luck. Oh well more Guinness. We visited Carnew, a known bastion of the Protestant faith, but the name Spencer was unknown. What ! Again!
We did discover that the Earl Fitzwilliam estate was nearby and that the groomsman to the family and his father before, was alive and would be able to enlighten us. So we duly headed out to meet Paddy Behme and check out the estate (Coolattin Park). Paddy had a detailed family tree of the Fitzwilliam line and guess what? Yep. You have probably already guessed....
The estate used to be 90,000acres. In Ireland that is HUGE. After The 6th Earl died without kids, the line ended.
The 6th Earl Fitzwilliam born in 1816 was William Thomas Spencer Fitzwilliam... ed.