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In addition, the IGI shows that the John Spurgeon and Elizabeth of Sudbury, Suffolk,


besides being married 26 May 1692 at All Saints, Sudbury, also had the following children: 26 Jun 1692, Elizabeth Spurgion, baptized 26 Jun 1692, All Saints, Sudbury, John Spurgin, baptized 10 Sep 1694, St. Peters, Sudbury, Daniel Spurgon, baptized 30 Aug 1696, St. Peters, Sudbury, and Joseph Spurgon, 12 Sep 1697, St. Peters, Sudbury. From these records it would appear Elizabeth was pregnant at the time of her marriage, giving birth a month later. I looked up the computer print out for St. Dunstan’s Church, Stepney, from 1568-1864 for marriages and could find no marriages listed for a John Spurgeon.23


I looked up also the computer print out for St. Dunstan’s


Church, Stepney, from 1568-1875 for births or christenings and could find no other references to any children born of John and Elizabeth Spurgeon (though while William was found, curiously his siblings James and Elizabeth were not found in this index).24


In addition, I made contact with Mr.


Derek B. Morris, in 1993, who has studied Mile End Old Town for the period 1741-1780. He assembled a database of over 4500 names from the tax registers from the Guildhall Library which were cross checked with births, marriages, and deaths for St. Dunstans. He wrote to me that “I also found it possible to recreate the order in which the tax collectors went round the parish and to then relate this information to deeds and leases. This means that for land tax payers I can locate their property within a few hundred yards … The advantage of the index is that approximately 60% of the tax payers only stayed three years or less in MEOT before moving on! …This movement is fairly typical of England in the 18th century. Where they all came from is probably impossible to prove … Unfortunately the name Spurgeon/Spurgin does not appear in the land tax records. There are not even any names that are similar.”25


The connection to the parish register entries comes through the arrest report that says that William Spurgeon was from Stepney Parish. Our James, at the time of his arrest was listed from the Parish of St. Mary’s Matfellon, a neighboring parish, which “… has a long history. Founded in the thirteenth century the chapel had been conspicuous for its whitewash covering -- and thus the name ‘Whitechapel’ … Badly damaged by German bombs St. Mary’s was pulled down after the 2nd World War and its site is now a public garden.”26


In 1994, I walked the grounds of


where St. Mary’s once stood; in the public green several gravestones yet stand. The most important is the imposing tomb of the Maddox Family who were quite prominent in the area. One can yet see the perimeter lines where the building stood and a portion of the church facade


23 St. Dunstan’s, FHL# 6,901,979. 24 St. Dunstan’s, FHL# 6,902,926. 25 Personal letter from Derek B. Morris, 21 Haddon Court, Shakespeare Road, Harpenden, Herts, England, 15 August 1993. 26Andrew Davies, op. cit., p. 71.


© 1993 Spurgeon Family History by Dr. Gary Alan Dickey, 1546 Devonshire Avenue, Westlake Village, CA 91361 • p. 13


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