In Week 15 I told you the story of John "the ploughman" Spence (born 1868) and how, unlike his parents and siblings, he had emigrated to Scotland from his home in County Donegal in Ireland sometime before 1903. This week I will explain what happened to his parents and some of his siblings.
Starting at the beginning, William Spence, who was born in about 1840, married Margaret McElhinney (1842) in the village of Newtowncunningham to the east of Donegal in 1861. I believe they had twelve children born between 1861 and 1879 although I only know the names of eight of them. It is likely that those who I haven't traced died at a young age. Civil registrations of births in Ireland started in 1864, so the missing children may have been born prior to then. They were all born in the parish of Fahan on the shores of Loch Swilly.
The children who went to America were :
1871 Alexander Spence
1875 Robert Spence
1877 James Spence
1879 Minnie Spence
Robert was a witness on his brother John's marriage certificate in Muthill, Perthshire 1903 and although I haven't traced the date of arrival, or the ship, census records show that Robert, like James, arrived in 1905.
On the 1914 Indiana directory, Alexander is living with his two brothers, James and Robert, at 249 Eastern Avenue.
Like their children they settled in Indianapolis in Marion, Indiana. I believe William died between 1910 and 1914 and his wife, who was living with Minnie and her family on the 1920 census, died shortly after.
Minnie, having married William Molloy in Ireland had emigrated to Indiana with him in 1906 and were together on all US census between 1910 and 1940. They had two children aged 6 months and 2 years on the 1910 census :
Margaret Molloy - she was born about 1908 soon after they arrived in America. On the 1930 and 1940 census she is a typist.
Thomas Molloy - he was born in 1910. On the 1930 census he is described as an "electrician, steam railroad". By 1940, he is married to Eloise and they have two children, William (born 1937) and Gloria (born 1935).