The following is a copyrighted article (posted here with permission) regarding the wife of Judge Samuel Spencer of Anson Co., NC.
Change The Records!
Judge Samuel SPENCER
1734 CT - 1793 NC
M.G. “Jerry” Spencer #1487
On 23 November 2004, Karen Spencer #0071 posted a note (#7725) on the Spencer GenForum message board as follows:
"For those who might be descendants of Judge Samuel Spencer, born 1734, East Haddam, CT and died 1793 in Anson County, North Carolina, he married a Sybil TISDALE 8 December 1768, not Sybil PEGUES."
I found that note in February 2005.
Every pertinent piece of genealogical literature that I had ever seen prior to that note had shown Judge Samuel Spencer’s wife to be Sybil Pegues, so I contacted Karen to ask her source for that information and she referred me to Virgil Huntley #1116. When I contacted Virgil, he cited: Abstract of Loose Estate Papers, Newbern District, North Carolina by Stephen Bradley, publisher S.E. Bradley, Virginia Beach, VA 1994, call number 929.3N8 B811n, NC Genealogical Society, Jan. '95 #31752403.
That evening, my wife and I made a trip to the Fort Worth, Texas, Public Library, realizing they hold several respected publications that include data about Judge Samuel Spencer, a descendant of Gerard Spencer, one of the 4 Brothers. There are numerous documents concerning the Judge due to his prominence in the State of North Carolina, and there are several respected sources providing an account of his family. He graduated from Nassau Hall, later named Princeton University. Princeton has published a biography of Judge Spencer which states that “...his wife is Sybil Pegues of South Carolina”. The University of North Carolina has also published a biography of Judge Samuel which states he wed Sybil Pegues, and the Compendium of American Genealogy by Virkus, vol. III, pg. 267 states, "Judge Samuel Spencer married Sybil Pegues". Henry Rigby includes information in his book titled Ancestors of William Spencer of Montgomery County North Carolina about Judge Samuel Spencer and says that Judge Samuel Spencer married Philippa (Sybil) Pegues 2 May 1766 but does not cite the source of that statement which is unusual for Mr. Rigby.
We also found in the South Carolina Historical & Genealogical Magazine, vol. 38 (1937), pg. 104 "...the marriage of Judge Samuel Spencer to Sybil Pegues". The History of Anson County, North Carolina 1750-1976 states:
"Judge Spencer was the first to have a law office in the new log courthouse and one of his pupils was Isaac Jackson who married Mary, the Judge's daughter.... Judge Spencer and his wife, Sybil Pegues had three other children: Claudius who died at an early age, William Samuel and Ann (also called Nancy)."
Obviously with these several publications all saying Judge Sam’s wife was a Pegues, it was quite a stretch to think otherwise. It must be noted, however, that none of these publications cite a tangible source for their statements about Sybil Pegues.
Sybil Pegues was reported to be a daughter of Claudius Pegues, a close neighbor of the Judge, who lived just south of the border between North & South Carolina. Claudius Pegues, born in London in 1719 the son of Hugenots who escaped religious persecution in France, arrived in Charleston, South Carolina on 4 November 1736. Thirteen years later, he married Henrietta Butler in Georgetown, South Carolina on 19 September 1749. Judge Samuel Spencer's half-brother, Calvin, witnessed the 1786 Will of Claudius Pegues.
Because Virgil insisted that there were records to prove that Sybil's surname was Tisdale and not Pegues, we hired a researcher in Raleigh to go to the North Carolina State Archives to acquire copies of the pertinent original records. After much delay, she reported that those records had been “retired” and were not available to the public. At that point, Sharron went to our local Family History Center and spent a good part of her monthly fixed income to place an order to Salt Lake City for every microfilm she could find on the subject area in hopes that something helpful might surface. On Tuesday 17 May 2005 we were notified that the films had arrived, and on Thursday we spent numerous hours and into the evening reviewing those films.
In an effort to clarify the information that follows, let me first explain some of the relationships that are involved here without all the specific details. Jerusha HUNTLEY married Antipas TISDALE and they were the parents of one son and three daughters, and were living in Newbern, Craven County, North Carolina when Antipas died. Due to the Law of Primogeniture, the eldest son (in this case the only son) inherited the property (a house and lot) of his deceased father. Some time after Antipas’ death, Jerusha went to live with one of her daughters, “Mrs. Spencer”, in Anson County and at some point married Nathaniel SCOTT who also died in Anson County.
Enoch Tisdale, the son, soon died intestate without ever marrying or leaving children; his mother, widow Jerusha, had already remarried to Nathaniel Scott in Anson County. Jerusha relinquished her right of dower to the property at which time it became the property of her three daughters and their husbands.
At some point, the house was occupied by an unauthorized person and he was evicted by the then-owners (the three daughters and their husbands) which resulted in a law suit that I prefer not to bore you with here. The good news is that as a result of those legal proceedings, there were several pages of records produced and among those records is a Deposition signed by Jerusha (Huntley Tisdale) Scott referring to her three daughters, and their husbands who were the plaintiffs in the law suit:
• Samuel SPENCER and his wife Sybil,
• Holden WADE and his wife Lydia and
• Joseph SPENCER and his wife Sarah.
Among other statements, Jerusha says that Sybil TISDALE married Samuel Spencer on the eighth day of December 1768 "to the best of this deponent's remembrance".
It is obvious that Samuel Spencer, being an attorney involved in this lawsuit and having full knowledge of Jerusha’s Deposition, would have known that she had named him as her son-in-law.
In Nathaniel Scott's will dated 4 September 1800, he leaves the bulk of his estate to his wife, Jerusha Scott, five pounds to Sybil WHARTON, formerly Sybil Spencer and names Jerusha Scott, Lydia Wade and Joseph SPENCER, Esquire, of Burke County, as his executors
Based on the above documentation it is definite that Judge Samuel Spencer married Sybil Tisdale when he was about 34 years old. Undocumented records show that Samuel Spencer married Philippa (Sybil) Pegues, daughter of Claudius Pegues of South Carolina on 2 May 1766, but a paper titled Families descended from Claudius Pegues (1719-1790) and his wife Henrietta (Butler) Pegues of Chesterfield District, SC by Charles V. Larsen, 1995, states that Claudius & Henrietta's first child was son William born 16 May 1750, then son Claudius, Jr. was born 1752 but did not survive, and another son named Claudius, Jr. was born 1755. In 1758 they had a daughter named Henrietta who along with her mother died shortly after the birth. Claudius never remarried. There is no known record that Claudius had married prior to his marriage to Henrietta or that he produced any children prior to that time. On page 95 of a book titled History of the Old Cheraws by Gregg there is a statement that Claudius Pegues' sons, William and Claudius Jr., were his only children to live to maturity.
Judge Samuel Spencer was born in Connecticut 21 January 1734 and graduated from Nassau Hall in 1759. At age 30, he was appointed Justice of the Peace in Anson County North Carolina in November 1764. Obviously, he could have married or produced children prior to the 1768 date of his marriage to Sybil Tisdale, though none are proven. The documents listed above do not contain information about an earlier marriage for Cladius Pegues, but he also could have wed and had children during the 13 years he was in South Carolina before he married Henrietta Butler. There is no known document about Sybil Pegues other than those which say she wed Judge Samuel Spencer, and those do not provide a tangible source confirming that she existed. The name Sybil was quite unusual for the time, and for one man to have had two wives by that same name would seem to defy the odds.
It is clear - and proven - that Sybil who was Judge Samuel Spencer's wife after 1768 was Sybil Tisdale and thus was the mother of his known children born after that date. There are no divorce records in Anson Co. NC concerning Judge Samuel, and his wife out-lived him. Sybil (Tisdale) Spencer probably died between September 1800 when she is named in the Will of her step-father, Nathaniel Scott, and March 1805, the date of her mother’s Will when she is not named.
We would like to express our appreciation to Virgil Huntley and Karen Spencer for bringing this matter to our attention and to once again say that we should ALWAYS go to the original records for verification of data.
Jerusha Scott’s will – Anson Co., NC Will Book 2, page 154 [LDS film #1666693]
Nathaniel Scott’s will – Anson Co., NC Wills & Estate Records [LDS film #1666693]
New Bern District, Craven Co., NC, Loose Estate Papers – page 96, # 309 Enoch Tisdale [LDS film #1906924]
WILL of JERUSHA HUNTLEY TISDALE SCOTT
In the name of God, amen.
I Jerusha Scott of the county of Anson and State of North Carolina, do make and ordain this as my last will and testament hereby disannulling and revoking all former wills by me made
In the first place I recommend my soul to the care of that immortal being who gave it and my body to the grave to be buried in such manner as shall seem good to my executor hereafter named and as to such worldly substance as it hath pleased God to bless me with I dispose of in the following manner (to wit)
I give and bequeath to my daughter, Lidia Wade, my negroe girl Hannah and a bond or note of hand given by said Lidia Wade to me for five hundred dollars and also all my lands to her the said Lidia Wade and to her heirs forever.
I give and bequeath to my grand daughter Sally Wade my negroe girl named Jinny to her the said Sally Wade forever.
I give and bequeath to my daughter Sarah Spencer my Negro boy named Ned and my girl Candy to her and her heirs forever.
I give and bequeath to my grandson Tisdale Spencer my negroe boy Tom to him and his heirs forever.
After paying my just debts I give & bequeath the remainder of my property to be equally divided between my two daughters Lidia Wade and Sarah Spencer share and share alike.
I do hereby constitute and appoint my beloved daughter Lidia Wade my executrix and my son-in-law Joseph Spencer my executor to this my last will and testament.
In witness whereof I the said Jerusha Scott hath hereunto set my hand & seal this 25th March 1805.
Signed sealed published & delivered in the presence of}
Jerusha (X) Scott
Joseph Pickett & John Jennings
EXCERPTS from the DEPOSITION of JERUSHA SCOTT
1 Feb. 1791
(during law suit held in Newbern, Craven Co., North Carolina)
“This deponent being first sworn on the holy Evangilists of almighty God upon her voir dire, these questions were thereupon propounded to her to wit, first are you or do you consider yourself anyway interested in the event of the cause now depending in the Superior court for the district of Newbern wherein Samuel Spencer & Sibyl his wife, Holden Wade & Lydia his wife and Joseph Spencer & Sarah his wife are plaintiffs and Nathan Smith is defendant being a suit in evictment for recovery of a house & lott in the town of Newbern . . . That the said Enoch Tisdale died intestate and without issue on or about the twenty-fourth day of December in the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy three to the best of this deponent’s remembrance and that Sibyl the wife of Samuel Spencer, Lydia the wife of Holden Wade and Sarah the wife of Joseph Spencer which she understands are the real plaintiffs with their husbands against Nathan Smith in the said suit in Evictment are the daughters of her this deponent and the said Antipas Tisdale and the only surviving sisters of the said Enoch Tisdale and they are all now in full life and that the said Sibyl was married to Samuel Spencer on the eighth day of December in the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty eight to the best of this deponent’s remembrance ………”