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Penington's of Henham & Chigwell, Essex, England

Replies: 1

Penington's of Henham & Chigwell, Essex, England

Posted: 1335829154000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Penington, Pennington, Spering, Speering, Bramston
Dear Pennington Researchers

I have finally managed to put together a draft tree of the Essex branch of the Penington family. I think it is the only one publicly available on the web. This tree is based on a range of readily available secondary sources. And there are a lot of inaccuracies in these sources, especially Foster’s pedigrees! I have drafted a list of remaining questions that perhaps someone might be able to answer and so I have pasted it below in the hope that someone may be able to help.
And here is a brief summary of my research so far, together with some questions pertinent to my Spearing research:

My connection with the Pennington’s is via the Chigwell/Henham branch from Essex. In 1598, a John Pennington married an Alice Spering (1581-1637). She was the daughter of George Speringe/Speering (c1558-1611), my putative ggggggg grandfather (approximately). I’ve published the story of the London Spering’s on our website at

Alice had a younger brother George (1601-1657) who married Rebecca Carter (c1610-1680). They had several children and apparently Rebecca moved to Limerick, Ireland, sometime between 1662 and 1680 (aged between 52 and 70). It is from these Spering’s that my Irish Spearin line is thought to have emerged. In 1680, Rebecca is reported as dying intestate in Ireland and her estate was granted to her “daughter and next heir”, Elizabeth Baynham (1634-1712). I’ve tracked down Elizabeth’s will (viewable with transcript at and it mentions several Pennington’s but it is difficult to know exactly where they fit into the Essex Pennington tree, especially Thomas Pennington, her Executor. Her Executrix was Mary Bramston nee Pennington, daughter of John Pennington and Sarah Abdy. Also, her goddaughter was Sarah Bramston, daughter of John & Mary Bramston.

I’ve tried to piece together the Essex Pennington tree using a variety of different sources (largely secondary) including Foster’s Pedigree’s, Berry’s Pedigrees, Visitations, parish records at, Boyd’s Inhabitants of London, various wills, and records from the Essex archives. However there are many apparent inaccuracies in these secondary sources. I’ve uploaded a tree at and would really appreciate some help answering the following questions:
1. Alice Spering married John Pennington in 1598. His half-brother was Admiral Sir John Pennington (1568-1646) whose memorial I recently had the privilege of visiting at Muncaster. Was it unusual for two brothers to be called by the same name e.g. John the elder and John the younger? This is the first time I’ve seen this.
2. Can anyone direct me to the 1637 will of Alice Spering? I can’t find it in the National Archives, the Essex Archives, or the London Metropolitan Archives on
3. In the Visitation of Essex in 1664, a John Pennington of Chigwell reports that he is married to a Catherine Luther (daughter of Thomas) and they have 4 daughters (Anne, Elizabeth, Katherine, & Martha). However, he states his father is John Penington (and therefore the same brother of Admiral Sir John Penington as above) but his mother is Mary (and not Alice Spering). This suggests his father was married twice but is there any other evidence of this? Or is the name for his mother entered incorrectly? Or did he forget that her name was Alice and not Mary?!
4. In the Visitation of Essex in 1634, a Thomas Pennington is recorded as being married to a Catherine Luther. Is this another Catherine by the same name? And if so, what is her relationship to the second Catherine Luther in the 1664 Visitation? Or is this the same Catherine Luther marrying Thomas before 1634 (say aged 16) and then his half-brother John about 1656 (aged 38?) and having her last child (Honoria) in 1666 (aged 48?) – is this possible?
5. Also, in the Foster Pedigree I got from the Essex Archives, he has the above Thomas married to a Rebecca and having a son Thomas in 1650. So was Thomas married twice? Or is this Foster mixing up his Pennington’s again?
6. There is major confusion in Foster’s Pedigrees between the children of John Pennington (1642-1702) and Sarah Abdy (1648-1690) and those of John Pennington (d1679) and Catherine Luther (1624-??bef1680). The will of my relative Elizabeth Baynham identifies Mary Pennington (daughter of John & Sarah Abdy) and her sister Elizabeth, but this Elizabeth did not marry James Saunders, it was the other Elizabeth (the daughter of John & Catherine Luther). The 1679 will of Thomas Penington (who died much later in 1714) also offers some helpful insights. Is this interpretation correct?
7. Did any of the Pennington’s have any dealings or interests in Ireland (Limerick in particular)?
8. Were any of the Pennington’s directly involved with Cromwell?
Any help you can offer with any of these questions would be greatly appreciated!

Maurice Gleeson
Spearin Surname Project
Spearin Facebook page
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
Maurice Glees... 1335829154000 
ellenb1964 1335836587000 
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