Speare Family of Dolton, Devon
Welcome to this web page for the Speare family from Dolton in Devon. At present i have not managed to link them to the Speare family from Inwardleigh.
I would like to thank Robert Speare & Marie Speare in Canada who have helped me find out more about this branch of the Speare family.
Family of Henry Speare
My Grandfather, Henry Speare was
born in Devonshire, England, on July 30, 1846. In 1856, he immigrated to
Canada with the rest of the family by sailing vessel, a voyage of 11 weeks. He
learned the trade of his father, that of a hand spinner in a woollen mill. He
worked at that trade in Ontario. He was married to Isabelia Menzies, who was
born in Glasgow, Scotland on January 6, 1849. She passed away in June of 1915.
Her father, William Menzies (1824-1903) is buried in the Lyleton Cemetery.
Henry Speare came west in 1887 by
train to the end of the line at Deloraine.
After buying a yoke of oxen and cart of sorts, he headed west with his
belongings to his homestead at 10-1-29. In May 1888 his wife and six children -
John, William, Raymond, Henry, David and Jeannette (Nettie), joined him.
They took up residence in a sod
house where another daughter, May was born in 1889.
The family lived in a sod house
until a big stone house was built in 1900. Ox team broke the land on the
homestead and later horses were used for farming. The first tractor was
purchased about 1924. Grain was hauled originally to the grist mill at Deloraine.
The round trip required five days.
The family first got their mall
at Sourisford and later Henry Speare delivered the mail to and from Lyleton and
Pierson, operating the Copley Post Office from his home. We still have the
original rubber stamp used for registered mall. He was also the superintendent
of the first Sunday school organised in Lyleton. Ox team and wagon was the mode
of travel for his family every Sunday. During his last year, he was
superintendent of Copley Sunday school. He passed away January 23, 1919.
Their eldest son John also lived
in Lyleton for a time. (See separate history for John Speare Family.)
William (Billy) started farming
in the early 1900's, living most of his life on the farm at 2-1-29. He used to
tell of going to Minot in the early days with a team of horses, leaving home at
sunrise and arriving in Minot at sunset - and this was in July.
On one of these trips he, my father and two friends went to Minot for the
fourth of July celebrations in 1900. It was here that they saw their brother
Dave for the last time.
Dave moved to Spokane, Washington, and the only member of the
family to see him after that was John's son Bill who called on him while passing
through Spokane during W.W. 11. Billy never married and passed away in 1955.
Raymond married Mary Louise
(Minnie) Linton and they lived on their farm on 14-1-29 until 1933 when they
sold out and moved to Basswood. Ray and Minnie had two children, Clayton born in
1909 and Eunice born in 1910. Clayton married Muriel Hamilton of Newdale,
Manitoba in 1939. They have two children: Carol born in 1943 and Linda born in
1947. Both girls are now married and living in Ontario. Eunice married Gordon
Garrard in 1967.
They live in Toronto in the
summer and spend the winter in Florida. Ray and Minnie lived in Basswood until
1950 when they purchased property at Clear Lake and operated a summer cabin
enterprise until Minnie's death in 1957. Ray then went to Ontario to live with
his family and passed away the following year. They are both buried in Minnedosa
David moved to Spokane,
Washington at an early age where he married and established a family.
Nettie married Rivers Kett and
they lived on the farm south of Lyleton until the late 1920's when they moved
into Lyleton. They had no family
but raised a foster son, Elmer Lyle. Rivers died in 1951 and Nettie passed away
May married Reuben (Ted) Tooke on
May 7, 1919. They farmed on 13-1-29 until Ted's death in 1938. They had one
daughter, Merle, born on October 9, 1920. After Ted's death, May lived in
Lyleton for a time, then worked in Souris, Waskada and Boissevain until coming
to stay with my brother Lloyd and me on the farm in 1952.
In 1968 she moved to Melita and later was in the senior citizens' home in
Killamey and Deloraine where she passed away in 1971. Merle enlisted in the navy
in April 1943, where she served as a cook. She has lived in Ottawa since leaving
the navy in 1946. Merle is not married.
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Speare, JR.
My father, Henry Speare JR, stayed on the home farm and
married Elsie Fisher of Dundas, Ontario, on January 25, 1918.
One child died in infancy.
Robert Henry (Bob) was born September 20, 1920. 1 (Ceell)
followed on July 23,1924; Lloyd on April 12, 1927; and Phyllis, on October 5,
Our schooling took place at
Lyleton and Copley Schools. Elsie
passed away in February of 1944. That
fall Henry went to Los Angeles, California where he renewed his acquaintance
with Violet Cartwright (Violet Quesnel, who had worked in the telephone office
in Lyleton in 1911 and in Melita later that year).
They were married in 1945 and
operated a restaurant and later a greeting card shop until Henry's death on May
12, 1955. Violet is still living in
Bob joined the army on January
19, 1943. He married Ann Skilnik on February 25,1950. They had two children:
Gene, born November 21, 1950, and Duane born January 5, 1953. Gene is now living
in Toronto. Duane is married with one child and is living in Winnipeg. Bob and
Arm moved to Vemon, B.C. after Bob retired from the army where he had spent 27
years. Ann passed away on May 23, 1982. Bob still lives in Vemon.
I joined the R.C.A.F in 1943 and
received my discharge in 1945. After
working at a variety of jobs, 1 started farming in the Copley district.
In 1958, I became employed as
Immigration Officer at the Port of Coulter, transferring to Customs as Customs
Inspector in 1959, a position which 1 still hold. Mima Andrews and 1 were
married in 1961 and have three children. Marie is beginning her third year of
Arts at Brandon University (1982), Sheila is entering first
Year Arts at the University of
Manitoba and Kerri is entering Grade IX at Melita.
Lloyd farmed in the Copley
district until 1973. He married Darlene Downey in 1970. Their daughter Elsie was
born in 1972. Lloyd has also
adopted two other children, Jeannine and Joe.
After leaving the farm, Lloyd and Darlene moved to Armstrong, B.C. and in
1974 they moved to Debolt, Alberta, where they still live.
Lloyd is farm manager for a John
Deere agent from Grande Prairie.
Phyllis moved to Los Angeles,
California, in 1946. She married Tommy Green in 1947. They have two daughters,
Pat and Pam, who are both married. Tommy and Phyllis, as well as their
daughters, live in Reno, Nevada.
History of John Speare Family
Submitted by Leo B. Speare
John (Jack) Speare, son of Henry
Speare, Sr., was born February 10. 1870 in Ontario. Canada. He
married Loretta Dishart, who was born March 25, 1885 at White Lake, South
Dakota, and passed away December 21, 1968. John was a musician, playing the
comet, and during his lifetime led many bands and orchestras throughout the
area, including the "Billy Bennett Travelling Show".
John, with his family, lived in
Lyleton until June 29, 1923, when they moved to Kenmare, North Dakota. They
hired three teams of horses and wagons to make this move.
Five children were born of this
marriage: Leo B., Isabelle, Katherine, William, and Harold. Leo and his wife
Helen reside in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Isabelle passed away on October 14,
1970. Katherine (Mrs. Paul Wherley) resides in Minot, North Dakota.
Katherine Wherley (nee) Speare
William and his wife Olga live at
Rugby, North Dakota, and Harold at Edmore, North Dakota.
William has four sons:
Barry of Washington, D.C.; David of Cando, North Dakota; Lorry of Puerto Rico,
West Indies; and Donald of Grand Forks, North Dakota. Like their father, sons Barry, Lorry and Donald all served in
the United States Military Services. Barry
is the father of one son and two daughters, William Ill, Sonja, and Tiffany.
Lorry has one son, John.
Leo recalls having attended grade
school at Lyleton and at the little red Copley School, along with his cousins
Clayton and Eunice Speare. One of
his teachers was Miss Reekie.
Henry Spear(e) 1851 Census in Devon, UK
Name Relationship Age Sex Occupation Birthplace
Henry SPEAR Head
Farm Lab Dolton-Dev
Elizth. SPEAR Wife 40 F Roborough-Dev
Willm. SPEAR Son 9 M Roborough-Dev
Mary SPEAR Daur
6 F Roborough-Dev
Henry SPEAR Son
5 M Dolton-Dev
Elizth. SPEAR Daur
2 F Dolton-Dev
Address: Halsdon, ---
Census Place: Dolton Torrington, Devonshire
Other Spear(e) Members from Dolton in 1851 Census
Relationship Age Sex
Simon SPEAR Head 71 M Ag Lab Dolton-Dev
Rebecca SPEAR Wife
Address: Petheridge Gate, Torrington
Census Place: Merton Torrington, Devonshire
Relationship Age Sex
William SPEAR Head
Farm Lab Dolton-Dev
Mary SPEAR Wife
Address: Langham, ---
Census Place: Dolton Torrington, Devonshire