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As early as 1465 the names of John and Thomas Spirjon appear as witnesses to a deed for the grant of certain land in the parish of Great Maplestead, in the county of Essex ...From the earliest Court Roll of the Manor of Dynes in the parish of great Maplestead (which remains), dated May 19, 1575, we find that one Thomas Spurgeon was then tenant of the manor. At the present time there is a small holding of thirty acres in Great Maplestead called ‘Bryatts’ or ‘Spurgeons’, which forms part of Mill Farm. A John Spurgin was also living in Great Maplestead about this time [1575]; he was a carpenter by trade, and married one Alice [probably Rayner], by whom he had for certain two sons, John and Thomas, and three daughters, Agnes, Jane, and Alice; his will was proved in 1594. In another part of Essex -- namely, Much Dummow -- situated nine miles northwest from Chelmsford, we find that one John Spurgion, a farmer, was living previous to 1562; not far from this place, at Felsted, one mile northwest of Bishops Stortford and ten miles north of Chelmsford, about the same period we find a John and a William Spurgin living. John was a labourer; he married --- Raven, and by her had a son, John, who had two daughters, Susan and Judith; his will was proved in 1592 ...There were also Spurgeons at Blacknotlye [one Annis Spirgine living previous to 1577], at Thundersley [one Thomas Spurgen, a farmer, living previously to 1581]; at South Bemflet [one Alyce Spurgyn living previously to 1601], so that the family was well distributed over the county of Essex at an early date. Turning our attention to the village of Halstead, situated at a distance of three and one half miles from that of Great Maplestead, we find that the Spurgeons were settled there as early as 1551. From a Patent Roll we gather that one Richard Spurgeon held land there at this date ...The probability is that this Richard Spurgeon was the direct ancestor of Charles Haddon Spurgeon [the great 19th century Baptist preacher of the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London].4


While these insights into the Spurgeon surname are interesting, it is not known at this


time where these Spurgeons may fit into the genealogical tree of the James Spurgeon family of London and America. The earliest known ancestors are John Spurgeon, a Tobaccioni∫t, of Mile End New Town, and his wife Elizabeth, mentioned at the baptism at St. Dunstan’s Church, Stepney, of their son, James Spurgeon. James was a London laborer. On 6 February 1718, James was arrested after stealing clothing items from a London spinster, Mary Fletcher. The transaction of his arrest, trial, and verdict are recorded in the Gaol Delivery Books which are the records of the Middlesex Sessions for the delivery of Newgate Gaol (Jail) at Justice Hall, Old Bailey, London, England. James’ actual record of his transportation follows:


A couple of lines above the entry for James, one may find the entry for William:


4W. Miller Higgs, op. cit. © 1993 Spurgeon Family History by Dr. Gary Alan Dickey, 1546 Devonshire Avenue, Westlake Village, CA 91361 • p. 3


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