'Spens1'Index links to: Lead / Letter
Families covered: Spens of Lathallan, Spens of Muirton (or Mairston or Mariston or Marisland), Spens of Wormiston

The records of the family that appears at first sight to be the main line of the family, that of Spens of Lathallan (as reported in Burke's Landed Gentry and Peerage), have been challenged by a branch of the family that appears to have undertaken significant research to disprove certain elements of those records. We do not have the resources to provide an independent review of the issue but show the information provided by both lines.
John le Dispensator (a 1161)
It is possible that John was son-in-law of Duncan, Earl of Fife, rather than son (as shown by the connection). It appears that some sources suggest that John was son of William Talvas of Shrewsbury, Count of Ponthieu, but apparently there is no evidence to support that suggestion other than the fact that that William was sometimes referred to as 'Le Despensier'. 'East Neuk of Fife' just reports thatWilliam (d 1432) "was probably kin to the Earls of Fife'.
1. Roger Dispensator (d before 1230)
  A. Thomas Dispensator (d c1250)
  i. John de Spens (Baillie of Irvine)
  a. Henry de Spens (d after 1300) The 'Burke records' (BP and BLG) commence with this Henry.
(1) Thomas de Spens (d 1332)
  (A) William de Spens
  (i) William Spens, 1st of Lathallan (d 1432) the first mentioned by 'East Neuk of Fife'
  m. (beofre 1385) Isabel Campbell (dau of Sir Duncan Campbell of Glen Douglas)
  (a) John de Spens, 2nd of Lathallan (d 1437)
  m. Isabel Wemyss (dau of Sir John Wemyss of Rires)
  ((1)) Alexander Spens (EITHER 3rd of Lathallan, d with issue 1466 OR dsp infant) --
  m. ?? Katharine Wood (dau of William Wood) --
  This is the Alexander who is shown by the 'Burke records' to be ancestor of the continuing family of Spens of Lathallan but who is reported by the family of Spens d'Estingols to have died as an infant.
  ((2)) Robert Spens of Kittedie & Craigsanquhar
  ((A)) John Spens of Kittedie & Craigsanquhar (dsp)
  ((3)) Thomas Spens, Bishop of Galloway then Aberdeen, Ambassador (d 14.04.1480)
  ((4)) Patrick Spens ancestor of Spens d'Estingols in France
  'East Neuk of Fife' reports that he "gave rise to two branches, of St. Sever, and of Bourdeaux" (sic).
  m. Jeanne de Sauix d'Estignols
  (b) William Spens, 1st of Kilspindy ancestor of Spens of Kilspindy
  (c) Isabel Spens (a 1476)
  m. Andrew Balfour (of Burleigh family)
  (2) Adam de Spens of Muirton (or Mairston or Mariston or Marisland)
  Adam is not mentioned by the 'Burke records'. The first Source referred to below reports that he was probably father of ...
  (A) Walter de Spens of Muirton probably father of ...
  (i) John de Spens of Muirton probably father (or brother/cousin) of ...
  (a) Alan de Spens (Baillie of Craill, a 1402)
(a) Duncan de Spens
  m. Isabel of Wormiston (dau of Robert de Wormiston, constable of Crail)
  ((1)) Alan de Spens (Baillie of Crail, a 1402)
  ((A)) Murdoch Spens (Baillie of Crail, a 1458, dsp)
  ((B)) Stephen Spens of Wormiston
  m. (1460) Anne Moray (dau of Andrew Moray of Ogilvy and Abercairny)
  ((i)) Alexander Spens of Wormiston (Constable of Crail) --
  This is the Alexander who is reported by the family of Spens d'Estingols to be ancestor of the later family of Spens of Lathallan.
  m. Katharine Wood (dau of William Wood) --
  ((ii)) Francois Spens in France
  ((iii)) Elizabeth Spens possibly of this generation
  m. John Anstruther of Anstruther (d 1548)
  b. Nicolaus de Spens of Langnodryffe

Main source(s): See the note at the top of the page.
(1) www.spens.info supported by additional information provided to STIRNET by Michel Patrick de Spens, baron d'Estignols
(2) BLG1952 (Spens formerly of Lathallan and Craigsanquhar), BLG1999 (Spens of Lathallan), BP1999 (Spens) [These are collectively referred to above as the 'Burke records'. It is understood that they are based on 'The Baronage of Scotland' by Sir Robert Douglas.]
(3) 'East Neuk of Fife' (Walter Wood, 1887, p145+)
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