Monday, April 26, 2010

1908 invoice, W.T. Spates, Eastport Maine, with photo of Mr. Spates

1908 invoice from W. T. Spates of Eastport, Maine, Tin Plate and Sheet Iron Worker.

Thanks to a reader [see comment below], I now know that William Thomas Spates was born in Eastport, Maine, in February of 1845.  There was another William Spates in Eastport, but he was the nephew of William Thomas Spates.  The Spates surnames appears to have evolved from the Braunschweig surname Specht.

From online research, hopefully correct:

The parents of William Thomas Spates were John Edward(s) Specht, born in 1813 in Nova Scotia, and Sarah S. McMullen, born in 1812 in Digby, Nova Scotia.  William's paternal grandparents were Thomas William Specht (son of Hessian Johann Julius Anthon Christoph Specht of Braunschweig, in what is now Germany) and his wife Bridget.  William's maternal grandparents were Peter McMullen and his wife Mary Joanna McDormand of Digby, both of Nova Scotia.

William Thomas Spates married Anna Graham of Nova Scotia; they had, I believe, three sons and a daughter.

I found an interesting website on the Hessians and on Johann Julius Anthon Christoph Specht

Other names that appear on the invoice are O. H. [?] Brown and B. N. Andrews, who must have been members of the I.O.R.M., which I assume was the International Order of Red Men, to whom the invoice is directed.  I found Oscar H. Brown and Byron N. Andrews in the 1900 Census for Eastport, Maine.

Thanks for stopping by!



  1. William T. Spates was born in Eastport in 1845. He did not pass his name to a son. His brother John W. Spates was also born in Eastport. In 1870 William Anthony Spates was born to John W. Spates in Eastport.

    I can't vouch for the picture but the William Thomas Spates would be my first cousin 4x removed through my late mother Muriel Frances Spates Cohoon

    1. Rebecca Malloy PiecewiczApril 23, 2020 at 4:16 PM

      Hi there - William T. Spates was my great-great grandfather. His son Frank Graham Spates married Gertrude Louise Cox and had my grandmother, Muriel Graham Spates Malloy. They lived in Eastport. Eventually my grandmother lived in Boston and married my grandfather John Walter Malloy, and they had my father, Malcolm Graham Malloy. It is interesting that your mother and my grandmother shared the name Muriel - must have been a special name in the Spates family.

    2. I'm not related, although many years ago my great uncle went with a Muriel Spates, who moved away with her family before the relationship moved on to marriage. She may have been your grandmother Muriel. I have a photograph of her, her mother, and my great uncle. If you would like to see it, my contact info is under Inquiries in the right margin near the top.

  2. Thank you for your helpful comment. I notice that the Spates name evolved from Specht of Braunschweig in Germany. Johann Julius Anthon Christoph Specht came to North America with a company of Hessians. Like several thousand other Hessians, he stayed in North America after the Revolution. In the summer of 2010, Prof. Anette Ruppel Rodrigues of Bangor, Maine, spoke at the Border Historical Society, Eastport, Maine; she's an expert on the Hessians who served in the Revolutionary War and has done extensive research both in North America and Germany.

  3. Hello, my name is Jonathan Spates. I am attempting to see if William Spates was the one married to Zady Priscilla Lee. Any help would be great. My father believes we are related to Francis Lightfoot Lee one of the persons signed the Declaration of Independence

    1. I'm not a Spates family historian but hopefully one of the other commenters will weigh in. William was a native of Eastport, Maine, and his spouse, Anna (Graham), was a native of Nova Scotia - does that fit in with your research?

  4. Yes, you are correct with the many differnet spelling of the name.