Note for: William H Converse, 1852 - 1900 Index
Place: Ellentown Cemetery, Lycoming Co., Pa.
Note for: John Ryan, - 1926 Index
Place: Ellentown Cemetery, Lycoming Co., Pa.
Note for: Lucy Ann Speary, 15 DEC 1857 - MAR 1919 Index
had 12 children including 7 girls & 4 boys. 1 still birth. 2 boys & 2
girls didn't live to maturity. Grandparents of Alice Brown.
Note for: Chester Barney Speary, 5 NOV 1859 - 1906 Index
Place: Ravens Creek Cemetery, Benton Twp., Pa.
A farmer . He resided in Benton, Columbia Co., Pa. Sold produce in the
Wilkes-Barre, Pa area.
Note for: John Wesley Speary, 6 APR 1863 - 24 FEB 1924 Index
Place: Hillcrest Cemetery, Sonestown, Pa.
The Christopher Speary farm was left to John Wesley in his father's
will. He resided on the farm all his life. His daughter Mary & son
Frank lived there afterwards. Mary's daughter Maurgarite Speary Cox &
her husband John were the last resident of the Christopher Speary Farm as
of 1969. To the best of my knowledge they are both still living & still
live on the original homestead.
All information regarding John Wesley & his family was gathered in a
personal interview of Marguarite Cox conducted by Alice Brown
(granddaughter of John Wesley's sister Lucy Ann) in 1969.
The Sullivan Review (newspaper)
10 Jan 1884
Mr. and Mrs. John AUMAN, of Cherry, who are 82 years of age, ate their
Christmas dinner with their granddaughter, Mrs. J. W. SPEARY, in this
Note for: Lizzie Bell Wilson, 20 OCT 1863 - 3 MAR 1919 Index
Place: Hillcrest Cemetery, Sonestown, Pa.
Also known as Lizzie or Lizabel. Buried at Hillcrest Cemetery,
Note for: Miles Speary, 10 OCT 1778 - 17 NOV 1859 Index
Place: Cherry Grove Cemetery, Nordmont, Sullivan County, Pa
Somehow, the spelling of Miles surname got changed from Sperry to Speary
after his arrival in Pennsylvania. Early references show Sperry while
later references show Speary. It is the same with most of his children
and grandchildren. There are still people spelling it both ways in the
Sullivan County area of Pennsylvania.
All dates for Miles, Sophia Earl & Hannah Bennett, as well as those for
all children except Emily (see notes for Emily) are from hand recorded
entries in an old family Bible. The date of birth for Miles in the Bible
appears to be 1779 - may just be a sloppy 8. Families of Ancient New
Haven show his year of birth as 1778. The Bible also lists Oct 8 rather
than Oct 10. Bothe FANH & Miles grave marker list October 10, 1778 as
his date of birth. Why the bible entry is off is anyone's guess.
We do know that the Miles in the Bible & the one in Families of Ancient
New Haven are the same person. This information is found in Miles
personal letters including one that refers to his Grandfather Lawrence's
death and others from his step father - Barnabus Rice - & his siblings.
According to early Spearys letter that in 1978 were in the possession of
Anna & Mabel Speary of Sonestown, Pa & Mrs. Marguerite Cox ( daughter of
John Wesley Speary) of Nordmont, Pa. Miles wrote that he arrived in
Huntington, Luzerne county in a party that included his father-in-law
James Earl & his uncle Tom Tubbs. Except for Miles' letters there is no
link establishing Thomas Tubbs as his uncle - yet many of the personal
letters sent to Miles by his siblings refer to him as " you Uncle
His mother, Anna Lawrence & Thomas Tubb's wife, Amy Lawrence were distant
cousins. There is also an Elizabeth Earl/ Nathaniel Tubbs marriage which
could connect through Miles wife Sophia Earl. It is belived that
Elizabeth is aunt to Miles wife Sophia (Earl) Speary. However, this
makes Nathaniel Tubbs Miles uncle through marriage but not Thomas.
The Tubbs family also came to Pa from CT. Perhaps Thomas was appointed
gaurdian of Miles after his father's death when Miles was but 4 years old
& "uncle" is used as a term of affection. Only time will tell.
History of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, Bradsby, 1893 lists both James
Earl/Earle and Thomas Tubbs as taxable inhabitants of Huntington in 1796.
Luzerne County Census for 1800 shows Miles Speary, Thomas Tubbs & James
Earl as residents. This is the year that Miles married Sophia & his
household in the census is made up solely of 1 free white male & 1 free
white female aged 16-26. I assume Miles would have been residing with
someone else in he 1790 census as he would have been only 12 years old
then. Was he living in Luzerne county in 1790? I have no idea. If he
did indeed arrive with one or both of these two men he would have been
counted as part of their households.
Several letters from Alice Brown in 1976 mention that Marguerite Cox had
in her possession part of an old "secret love letter" that suggests Miles
had a third wife. It is signed Sophia Love. Although there is an 11 year
period between the death of Sophia Earl & the marriage to Hannah Bennett,
there is no recorded evidence to support another marriage in between the
two recorded wives.
All children are accounted for in the family Bible as either Sophia
Earl's or Hannah Bennett's and it is highly unlikely that a "middle"
marriage would have produced no further children. Those researching the
Speary family in the 1960s & 1970s did not know the name of Miles first
wife, Sophia Earl. They certainly did not know that her mother's maiden
name was Love. It is far more likely that Sophia Earl's middle name was
Love & she is the person who signed the ""secret love letter" than it is
that Miles had a another wife.
Eudora Sick's (Miles' granddaughter) notes read at a Speary family
Reunion in 1937 & much information written about the history of Sullivan
County state that Miles was born in Huntington, Luzerne County, Pa . In
fact he was born in Canaan, Connecticut which is well documented in The
Families of Ancient New Haven, in the census information that notes his
birth place as Connecticut & in the mentioned family letters which
connect him to Anna Lawrence, Wooden Speary & Barnabus Rice.
Eudora Sick's notes also tell a story that while several of his children
from his first marriage were young they became ill from a fever epidemic
& died after eating foods that they could not digest in their weakened
state (peaches). All children listed in the family Bible are accounted
for and either grew to maturity & married or died in infancy several
years apart (not as a group as this story suggests). By the dates of his
marriage to Sophia Earl & the date of her death there is no room in which
to fit additional children. Their first child Anna was born 10 months
after their marriage & Sophia died one day after giving birth to twins
Miles & Sophia. This story does not fit in to the facts of Miles
Speary's life. However, Miles was named for his Uncle Miles Sperry and
when examining his life you see that all of his children die & Miles
himself passes away within a few weeks time. Eudora had not made the
connection to Connecticut at this time & I believe she may simply have
retold a story she had heard while growing up & attached it to the only
Miles Speary she knew of.
By 1826 Miles was in Davidson Township, Sullivan County, Pa. Several
accounts say that he was there 5 years before marrying Hannah Bennett. If
these accounts are true then this places him in Sullivan in 1824 since he
married Hannah on April 16, 1829. One note from Alice Brown mentions a
lady living in Sullivan County finding a record that places Miles in
Sullivan County in 1823. However, there is no mention of what the
document was that places him there or where that document is today.
Additionally, there are several accounts of Miles' sons Christopher &
Samuel arriving in Sullivan County in 1826 & stating that there father
had arrived a year or so earlier.
Regardless of when, at some point after Sophia's death he found a ridge
of maple timber in Sullivan County - near Nordmont. An old family story
tells that these early settlers came from Huntington over the "north
mountain" & that Nordmont is an abbreviation for north mountain. True?
I don't know. Miles sold off the 400 acres he owned in Huntington &
bought 440 acres in Davidson Township for the purpose of making maple
sugar. Maple sugar was a major income source in that area at that time.
Of the 440 acres, 40 acres was allowed for roads. The land included what
would later become known as Frank Speary property, the Asa Speary farm &
the Flick, King & Horn tracts.
Twins Permilla & Emelia kept house for him while he set up a sugar camp.
He made hand hewn spiles & sap troughs & cleared timber in order to
prepare the land for farming. His first potato crop was planted around
tree stumps left after clearing.
In the early days, when there were no real roads Miles and other men from
this area transported the maple sugar in pails suspended from a neck
yoke. There are notes, again read at the Speary Family reunion in 1937,
which tell a story about Miles walking down Fishing Creek - during his
first spring in Sullivan County - with his maple sugar pails & his neck
yoke and heading for Danville. Along the way he met a stranger & asked
directions to Danville. He realizes quickly that the stranger is deaf
and they continue on together but end up in Catawissa where they sell the
sugar for "a shillin' a pound".
When you have so many children, sooner or later the problem of schooling
has to be dealt with so the first school in this area (Elk Lick
Settlement) was held in Miles Speary's home & was taught by Miles' oldest
daughter Anna Speary. Miles was on the board of directors.
Miles and his son Samuel were also trustees of the Cherry Grove Church -
even though there was no actual church building at the time & services
were often held in a cherry grove - hence the name. It was many years
later that Miles' son Christopher provided in his will the money needed
for construction of the actual church.
"The History of Sullivan County" lists much misinformation about this
family. But, this book was not meant to be a study in genealogy. It was
simply written by a resident based on what he believed to be fact.
The birthdate shown for Miles - as well as those for his siblings, are
those listed in Families of Ancient New Haven. It is interesting to note
that a family letter dated September, 8, 1786 & mailed to Miles by his
mother - Anna Lawrence Speary Rice - from Rensselearsville, NY on
December 9, 1803 (the letter was inside of another letter) lists the
birth year as exactly 1 year LATER for every child accept Chloe.
Miles Speary served in the War of 1812 with the 2nd Brigade, 9th Division
of the Pa Militia under the command of Captain Peter Hallocks. He was
mustered in at Huntington, Luzerne County on June 12th , 1814 & was
honorably discharged at Danville, Pa on November 24th, 1814.
The AIS Mortality Schedules index list Miles as having died from
"consumption". He is buried at Cherry Grove Cemetery, Nordmont, Sullivan
County, Pa.. His grave is marked with a War of 1812 grave marker. The
original marker long ago disintegrated & illegible. The 1812 marker
shows his date of death as Nov 17, 1859 however, the family bible shows
his death on December 21, 1862.