William, son of John and Eliza (née Tombs) Spencer was born in 1844 in Little Rissington in Gloucestershire. He arrived in the colony in December 1852 aboard the John T Foord with his parents (both aged 40) and brothers John (aged 16), William (aged 9) and Edwin (aged 4), according to shipping records. The Spencer family settled at Connewarre in 1855 when John Spencer purchased crown land. John who was born in 1811 in Little Rissington, Gloucestershire, England died intestate in 1858.
William married Jane, daughter of John and Isabella (née Abernathy) Gardiner in 1869. They had the following children:
William — born 1870 at Connewarre, married Margaret Watson in 1897, died at Mitiamo in 1933
John James — born 1872 at Mount Duneed, married Jessie Eliza in 1900,
George Arthur — born 1875 at Connewarre, died in 1876 at Connewarre
Emily Helen — born 1878 at Mount Duneed, married James White Curran in 1897, died in 1940
Arthur Edwin — born 1887 at Mount Duneed, died 1919 at Euroa
Erwin Mallette — born 1887 at Marshalltown, married Kate Sabina Archer in 1913, died 17 August 1917 at sea near Themistocles of meningitis aged 30
Jane died on 13 March 1887 aged 38 at Connewarre and was buried in the Methodist section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery.
William accumulated land in Connewarre over many years and in 1884 put his farm in Barwon Heads Road up for sale. In 1882 he had selected 240 acres at Strathbogie. A number of Jane's relatives and others from Connewarre also selected land in this area. By 1887 William was living at Strathbogie.
In 1888 he married Frances Blyth, daughter of Ewing and Agnes (née Tait) Blyth. Their children were:
Alexander Ewing (Alex) — born 1889 at Strathbogie, died 2 April 1972 aged 83, buried in the Methodist section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery
Ethel Agnes — born 1890 at Strathbogie, married Francis Scouler in 1917, died 1958 at Nagambie aged 69
Robert Blyth — born 1891 at Strathbogie, married Ivy Myrtle Fuller in 1915, died 11 March 1972 at Camperdown
Herbert Samuel (Herb) — born 1892 at Strathbogie, married Emma Scouler (sister of Francis) in 1930, died 1959 at Nagambie
Frank Wesley — born 1894 at Strathbogie, married Violet Janet Scouler (sister of Emma and Francis) in 1920, died 1935 at Richmond
Edgar Alfred (Alf) — born 1896 at Strathbogie, married Eva Florence Bell in 1919, died 1974 at Euroa
Charles Henry — born 1899 at Longwood, married Lesley Helen Ford, died 8 June 1950, buried in the Methodist section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery
Zachariah Barton (Zack) — born 1901 at Longwood, married Marion Frances Maskell in 1927, died 1970 at Numurkah
William died in 1903 at Avenel. Frances died on 19 March 1940 at the age of 78 years at Geelong and was buried in the Spencer plot in the Methodist section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery.
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Barwon Heads History