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Spencer Family History

Spencer Name Meaning

English (Lancashire and Yorkshire): occupational name for someone who dispensed provisions or money from Middle English spenser(e) spencer(e) ‘household steward butler almoner’ (Anglo-Norman French espenser Old French despensier). Compare Spence and Spender . There is some dispute about the origins of the Spencer family whose most famous member in recent times was the late Princess of Wales born Lady Diana Spencer (1961–97). Some sources say that they are descended from William the Conqueror's steward Robert Despencer. What is clear is that by the 15th century they had become prosperous from sheep farming in Northamptonshire. Robert Spencer (died 1627) was said to be the wealthiest man in England. Their titles have included Earls of Sunderland and Earls Spencer; and through the female line the 5th Earl of Sunderland also became Duke of Marlborough in 173 This connection was the result of the marriage in 1700 of the 3rd Duke of Sunderland to the daughter of John Churchill 1st Duke of Marlborough. The youngest son of this union John Spencer (1708–46) was the father of the 1st Earl Spencer (1734–83).

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press


Similar surnames: Spence, Spenner, Penner, Speller, Speiser, Spicer, Stenner, Pender

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Where is the Spencer family from?

You can see how Spencer families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Spencer family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Spencer families were found in USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 542 Spencer families living in New York. This was about 23% of all the recorded Spencer's in USA. New York had the highest population of Spencer families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Spencer surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Spencer ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer and Housewife were the top reported jobs for men and women in the USA named Spencer. 17% of Spencer men worked as a Laborer and 7% of Spencer women worked as a Housewife. Some less common occupations for Americans named Spencer were Truck Driver and Housekeeper. .

View Census Data for Spencer | Data not to scale

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations In 1940

  • Laborer
    17%
  • Farmer
    15%
  • Salesman
    5%
  • Truck Driver
    3%

Top Female Occupations In 1940

  • Housewife
    7%
  • Maid
    7%
  • Teacher
    6%
  • Housekeeper
    6%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Spencer family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 1 million census records available for the last name Spencer. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Spencer census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

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Passenger Lists

There are 93,000 immigration records available for the last name Spencer. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

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Draft Cards

There are 157,000 military records available for the last name Spencer. For the veterans among your Spencer ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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What is the average Spencer lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Spencer life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1942, and highest in 2001. The average life expectancy for Spencer in 1940 was 41, and 73 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Spencer

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