William Speers (1802-1858)

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William Speers (1802-1858)
Sex: Male
Birth: 1802
Death: 1858
Father: Thomas Speers (1773-1848)
Mother: Ann Evans (1780-1854)
Spouse/Partner: Jane Duke (1802-1867)
Marriage: 1822


Name Birth Death

Ann Eliza Speers (1823-1897) 1823
Tandaragee, Armagh Co., Ireland
Owen Sound, Grey Co., Ontario

Jane Speers (1825-1875) 1825
Tandaragee, Armagh Co., Ireland
Oct. 1, 1875
buried in Paisley, Ontario

Tommy Speers (1827-1841) 1827
Tandaragee, Armagh Co., Ireland
Caledon Twp., Peel Co., Ontario

Archibald Speers (1831-1901) 1831
Muddy York, Upper Canada
Wetaskawin, Alberta

William Spears (1833-after 1866) 1833
after 1866

Mary Speers (1837-1910) 1837
Caledon Twp., Peel Co., Ontario
near Wiarton, Bruce Co., Ontario

Alexander Speers (1839-1899) 1839
Caledon, Peel Co., Upper Canada
Griswold, Manitoba

Jacob Speers (1841-1893) 1841
Caledon, Peel Co., Upper Canada
Owen Sound, Grey Co., Ontario

Robert Speers (ab.1894-ab.1910) ab.1894
Roblin, Manitoba

Thomas Speers (1847-1910) Jan. 6, 1847
Toronto, Upper Canada
Owen Sound, Grey Co., Ontario

William Speers (1802-1858) was born in Ireland in 1802. He married Jane Duke (1802-1867) in 1822. William and Jane had 10 children, the first three, Ann Eliza, Jane, and Tommy being born in Tandaragee, Ireland, and the last seven being born in Canada. Their sixth child, Mary Speers, was born was born in Caledon Twp., Ontario, in 1837.

William was a great-grandfather of Evelyn May Craig Cringan (1890-1959). He was also the grandfather of Florence Edith Robinson Bodkin Cringan, and the great-grandfather of her children, Dean, Trudy and Andrew Bodkin.

Tommy Speers (1827-1841) was the third child of William Speers and Jane Duke. He was born in Tandaragee, Armagh Co., Ireland, in 1827, and emigrated to Canada, with his parents and two older sisters. Tommy died in Caledon Twp., Peel Co., Upper Canada (now Ontario) in 1841. The circumstances of his death were peculiar, as related in this account quoted verbatim from Speers (1953):

3. TOMMY SPEERS 1827-1841 Born in 1827 at Tandaragee, Co. of Armagh, Ireland, the first son of William and Jane Speers. He emigrated to Canada when just a year old. Alex Speers was raising. a log house in which they lived after 1841 on Concession III Lot 21, Caledon, and William Speers was to help him, William's place is on Concession IV. William and son Tommy went along. Towards evening of that day Tommy wanted to go home, and his father agreed to let him go by himself. He became lost and was never found, and the wolves began howling all the night following his disappearance. The only thing that was found is a shoe, between Alex Speers and William's place. William and Jane Speers disposed of their farm on the disappearance of their son, and moved to Toronto, in 1841, and next to Owen Sound in 1850. [Comment: In my copy of Speers' "Speers Genealogy", in which E. R. = Edith Robinson = Sarah Edith Speers Robinson = mother of Florence Edith Robinson Bodkin Cringan had written "My Father, Thomas Speers, was born in Toronto in 1847. - He was called "Thomas" after his brother "Tommy". E. R.". Florence Edith Robinson (1924-1977) was the second wife of Robert James Cringan (1922-2000).]

Cause of Death of Tommy Speers

Tommy Speers disappeared in 1841. Circumstantial evidence suggested that he may have been killed by wolves. More than a hundred years later, neither his 1st cousin once removed Austin Laverne Speers (1895-ab1953) nor his niece Sarah Edith Speers (1888-1956) questioned the inference that wolves were involved in his death. Both Austin and Edith might have heard stories about Tommy's disappearance from their parents. His parents had moved from their frontier homestead back into Muddy York (= Toronto) shortly after his disappearance, as if they wished to leave the frontier.

Documented instances of wild wolves attacking humans in North America are rare. [1] [2] [3]


Speers, Austin Laverne. 1953. Speers Genealogy. Typescript, Ancaster, Ontario,Canada.

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