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  • Writer's pictureJessica Feinstein

Isaac Spencer, lead miner

Isaac Spencer was Ari’s 7x great-grandfather. He lived in Middleton by Wirksworth, Derbyshire, and was born in 1740.



His parents were Thomas Spencer and Hannah Ball. He was baptised at the church of St Mary in Wirksworth two days after Christmas, 1740. When he was five years old, his baby sister Martha died, and when he was nine, his brother Anthony also died as a baby.


Early in 1764, Isaac (now working as a lead miner) married Sarah Buxton:


Derbyshire Record Office; Matlock, Derbyshire, England; Diocese: Diocese of Derby


They had ten children.


Isaac’s wife Sarah died in 1801, aged fifty-seven.


Isaac died on 12 January 1824, aged eighty-four, and left a detailed will, telling us a bit more about his land and property. He left land to his oldest son, Isaac, money to his oldest daughter Sarah, and land to his son Anthony, money and land to his son Job (Ari’s ancestor). He was careful to make provision for his grandchildren, son of George who had died at the age of just thirty-seven, and their mother Hannah, who also got a milch cow. Six of Isaac’s children had predeceased him.


The will reads as follows:


“This is the last will and testament of me Isaac Spencer of Middleton in the Parish of Wirksworth in the County of Derby Miner. First I will and direct that all my just debts funeral and testamentary expences be fully paid and satisfied by my executors as hereafter mentioned.


I Give and devise unto my son Isaac Spencer his Heirs and Assigns forever all that piece or parcel of land situate lying and being next Middleton Wood called Bolters Field with the appurtenances thereto belonging now in my own possession subject nevertheless to the payment thereout of the sum of Twenty Five Pounds unto my daughter Sarah the wife of Obadiah Adams of Matlock in the said county of Derby saddler within twelve months next after my decease which I hereby give devise and bequeath the rents or profits of all that my parcel of land or ground situate and lying in Middleton aforesaid called Howorth Head (which is now in my own occupation) or by what ever other name it shall be called or known having lately exchanged the House and premises called the Nelson Arms in Middleton aforesaid



which I purchased of Philip Gell Esquire for the same close called Howorth Head with my son Isaac unto and equally between all the children of my son George Spencer deceased for and towards their bringing up until the youngest of them shall attain the age of twelve years or in case of the decease of the said youngest child until the period at which he would have arrived at that age and from and immediately after that period as aforesaid then I give and devise the same piece of land unto my son Anthony Spencer and to his Heirs and Assigns for ever he paying thereout to my son Job Spencer the sum of Ten pounds and to my daughter Sarah Adams the sum of Five pounds when he the said Anthony shall come into the possession of the same under this devise.


I give and devise all that messuage or tenement called the old house now in my own occupation and a small square garden at the Barn end with the back garden barn and Pig Court thereto adjoining and belonging with the appurtenances unto Hannah Spencer the widow of my late son George and all my Household Goods and Furniture for and during the term of her natural life or for so long only as she shall remain his widow and unmarried and from and immediately after her decease or marriage whichever shall first happen.


I do hereby give devise and bequeath the same house and premises and all the said household furniture and goods unto and between all the children of the said Hannah Spencer by my said son George their Heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns to be equally divided between them to take as Tenants in common and not as Joint Tenants but in case of the death of any of them under age without lawful issue then to the survivors or survivor.


I give and devise unto my son Job Spencer his Heirs and assigns for ever. All that other Messuage or Tenement called the Over House also adjoining the said old house with the garden and appurtenances thereto belonging now in the possession of my grandson Isaac Spencer the son of Job Spencer all which said premises are situate at Middleton aforesaid. I give unto my daughter in law Hannah Spencer one Milch Cow.


All the rest residue and remainder of my real and personal estate and effects after payment thereout of my just debts, funeral and testamentary expences. I do hereby Give devise and bequeath unto my said sons Isaac Spencer and Anthony Spencer and to their Heirs Executors and Administrators and Assigns for ever to take as tenants in common and not as joint tenants. And lastly I hereby constitute and appoint my said son Anthony Spencer sole Executor of this my last will and testament and do revoke all former wills by me heretofore made declaring this only to be my last will and testament. In witness whereof I the said Isaac Spencer the Testator have to this my last will and testament contained in two sheets of paper subscribed my name and affixed my seal this twenty fifth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty three.”


Ari, this is how you are related to Isaac:



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