Because of the vast and conflicting amount of material on the early SPENCERs, I will try and sort out a little of it and put the various genealogies together so the researcher can see what the problems are and go from there.
The origin of the name SPENCER comes from the office of despencer, that is “steward”. This was apparently an inherited title. The name or title is of Norman-French origin. Medieval genealogy is not my forte so additions/corrections are appreciated. Thanks, Jim.
Genealogy A -
This genealogy is based on the Duchess of Cleveland’s work BATTLE ABBEY ROLL and also on Arthur Collins; work on the genealogy of the SPENCER and CHURCHILL families.
1. Tancred, whose fief was Tancarville, which was situated about 30 miles up the Sieve from La Havre. The TANCARVILLEs were hereditary chamberlains of Normandy. Tancred was living in 912. He had a son:
2. Rabel. The next named is:
3. Gerard, Baron of Tancarville, toward the end of the 10th century. He was father of:
4. Rabel II (aka Raoul). He had two sons:
5. Ralph (aka Raoul) & Almeric (aka Amaury) d’ABBETOT
6. Robert le DESPENCER is called the son of Almeric by some and son of Ralph de TANCARVILLE (aka d’ABBETOT) by others. He was the brother of Urse d’ABBETOT. Robert was the steward to William the Conqueror in 1066. There is some question as to whether Robert was married let alone had children. However because the office of steward was hereditary som authorities believe the next steward was his son, however he may have been a brother, or nephew, or no relation at all.
7. William/Guillaume le DESPENCER, steward to King Henry I and was living in 1100.
8.Thurstan le DESPENCER, was the next steward to King Henry I. He was believed to be a son or brother to William above. However, to some evidence he also fits in Genealogy C #3.
Genealogy B -
Source for this is the VISITATION OF WARWICKSHIRE.
1. Juon/John, Vicount of Constantine; m. to Emine of BRITTANY, sister to Alani, Ct. of BRITTANY.
2. iv. Hudardus (to follow)
vi. Wolstanus, Lord of Hatton
2, Hudardun, Lord of DUTTON; m. to Alicia.
3. Hugo, Lord of DUTTON
i. Adam, Lord of DUTTON; m. to Agnitia, dau. of Roger.
ii. Hugo, who is identified as the same as Hugo, #2 in Genealogy C.
Sources for this are ADDITIONS TO DUGALE’S BARONAGE, DEEDS RELATING TO KNIGHTWICK, COUNTY WORCHESTER, VISITATION OF WARWICKSHIRE and COLLINS PEERAGE.
1. Thurston (? De TURBEVILLE), fl. 1080. Had:
2. Hugo le DESPENSOR (reign of Henry I) identified as the same as #3ii in Genealogy B; m. to Helewisa. Had:
3. Thurstan le DESPENSOR.
i. Walter, Lord STANLEY.
4 ii. Alaric (to follow)
iii. Hugh, accompanied Richard I to the Holy Land. Poss. ancestor of Hugo, see next.
iv. Geffrey, he is stated as being the ancestor of Hugo, Chief Justice of England, as is his brother Hugh.
4. Almaric lee DESPENSOR, Lord STANLEY, sheriff of Rutlandshire, steward to Richard I. 1m. To Amabil de CHESNEI/CHESNEY, dau. of Walter de CHESNEY
i. Juliana; m. to William BARDOLPH
2m. To Alda/Eldae BLUET/BLEWETT
5 ii. Thurston (to follow)
iii. Daughter; m. Peter de STOHS
6 vi. Peter (to follow)
5. Thurstan le DESPENCER, Sheriff of Glouchestershire, b. c.1216, d. c. 1248/0; m. to Lucia.
i. Geoffrey/Galfridus, d. 1251; m. and had child Geoffrey.
ii. Adam; m. Joan and had child Almaric.
6 Peter le DESPENSOR; m. Isabella de EUENS/EWWYAS, dau. of Richard.
i. Richard, took surname of EWYAS, had child Clara.