Peter Spracklin’s Origins in England…

This blog’s title uses my 4th great grandfather, Solomon Goss because he was a pivotal ancestor.  He migrated to Ohio and settled in the Marietta area near the Ohio River.

Solomon’s youngest daughter Lydia married an Englishman by the name of John A. Spracklin.  John emigrated to the United States in 1817 from Somerset, England, with his aunt and uncle Wine and Anne Rood, and settled in Washington Co., Ohio.  John and Lydia married in 1819 and then migrated to Knox Co., Ohio and settled on land that Solomon Goss had purchased in Knox Co. All these events have been posted on this blog.

John and Lydia’s son Daniel married Elizabeth Keller and they migrated to Iowa. Elizabeth’s parents were John Keller and Mary Anne Delano.  So all the families of my line converged in Ohio and that is why I have featured them on this blog.

If you take a look at the top of this blog you will see pages for some of the families featured on this blog so far. These pages are like a table of contents for the posts I have written about each family line along with the publication dates.   This should make it easier for you to find and review them by using the Archive or Search box on the right side of this blog.

My goal now is to share and post about John A. Spracklin’s parents and siblings. John was the oldest son of Peter and Elizabeth Andrews Spracklin. Peter and Elizabeth had nine children.  Many cousins refer to Elizabeth as either Polly or Betty.

Peter and Elizabeth Spracklin are not descendants of Solomon Goss but a family that is connected to the Goss family by a marriage of their grandson Daniel Spracklin to Elizabeth Keller.  Peter and Elizabeth are very important to our Spracklin/len line.


The origins of Peter and Elizabeth (Betty/Polly) are English.  They came from Somersetshire, England in 1823 and settled first in Knox Co., Ohio and then moved northwest to Hardin Co., Ohio, remaining there for the rest of their lives.

I would like to take this time to point out that many other Spracklin researchers have gone before me and pointed the way about the English origins of the Spracklins.  I have followed up with my own digging for the records in England by using Ancestry and Find My Past.  I have used the online FamilySearch website and also visited the Family History Library in 2013 and 2014 and used their films to find the vital records of this family.  As always double check what I present and be advised I am happy to make updates or add additional information.

Peter Spracklin would be known as the progenitor of our line of Spracklin/len in the United States.

The surname of Spracklin has been spelled many ways in records and it can be difficult to find information about an ancestor with this surname.  When you research Spracklin/len you have to use all manner of spelling to track down information.  I have seen it spelled: Spracklin, Spracklen, Spranklin, Spraklin, Sprackling, Sparkling, Spratling, Sparkely, Sparacklin, Spraclin, Spracklan, Sprecklin, Spricklin, Sprocklin, Spracklyn, Spracklyng, Sparchlen and more as indicated in the article below.

Origins of the surname Spracklin/len

This most unusual name is of Old Norse origin, dating from the 8th and 9th Century invasions and subsequent settlement of eastern and northern England by Scandinavian peoples. Sprackling derives from an Old Norse nickname or byname, “Sprakaleggr”, adopted into Olde English as “Spracaling”, and translated literally as “creaking legs”; the nickname was presumably originally given to someone who suffered from rheumatism or arthritis, or some other affliction that caused his joints to creak. A great many early surnames were created from the habitual use of nicknames, often given in the first instance with reference to a person’s physical attributes or peculiarities, as here; similar nicknames surviving as modern surnames…The nickname is recorded as “Sprachelingus” in 1130, and “Sprakeling” in 1204, and is first recorded as a surname in the mid 12th Century, as below. Early recordings include Gervase Sprakeling, in the 1204 Pipe Rolls of Wiltshire, and Robert Esprakelin, circa 1270, in the Book of Fees, Cornwall. The Coat of Arms granted to a Sprackling family of Kent depicts, on a black shield, a saltire ermine between four leopards’ faces, gold. The Crest is a wolf’s head erased, black, tufted, armed, and ducally gorged gold. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Unspac Spracheling, which was dated 1166, in the “Pipe Rolls of Norfolk”, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as “The Builder of Churches”, 1154 – 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to “develop” often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling. Taken  from The Internet Surname Database at

The following quote comes from the ABC Chronicles by Helen Cox Tregillis (more on this source in future posts). Chapter III Spracklins.

Apparently the name Spracklin had other forms: Spartling, Spracklen. In English or Welsh it meant “the one with the crooked legs.” As far as known to the writer, some early Spracklins on English Records were of the Canterbury Catholic Church, Canterbury, County Kent, England.  The church records there show a Robert, baptized 1645, son of Spratling; Adam, baptized 1653, son of Robert Spratling. Heralic arms were granted in 1619 to Leonardus Sprackling, Rob’tus Sprackling, and Adam Sprackling, of Thanet, Co., Kent. Possibly this Robert Spracklin was an early ancestor of Peter Spracklin who came to America in 1823. 

Robert Sprakeling’s tombstone is featured at Find A Grave.

Robert Sprakeling at Canterbury.

Robert Sprakeling at Canterbury in Kent County, England.

Coat of Arms of the Spracklins:

Spracklin Coat of Arms

Spracklin Coat of Arms

There are lots of Spracklins in the Kent County area of England going back into time. I have not studied Kent County, England at this time. Kent County is southeast of London on the eastern side of England. Somerset and Dorset are to the west in the southern part of England.

I do not guarantee the information given in this tree is correct, but it is interesting and could be a start if you are interested in these older Spracklings. Try this link for more information:


Map of England from Wikipedia

Map of England from Wikipedia

Historic Counties of England:

Peter Spracklin was born on 20 December, 1774 in Long Sutton, Somerset, England (daughter Anne’s Prayer Book). He was baptized on 23 January, 1775 in Rampisham, Dorset, England.  Note:  Several sources are given below.

To open click on the map and then you can look at it more closely. Pitney and Long Sutton are on the right a little high up on the map. Don’t forget to hit your back button to return to this post.

Towns in Somerset England, Google Maps

Towns in Somerset England, Google Maps 2015

Peter’s father was Robert Sprackling baptized 31 August, 1748 in Cattistock, Dorset, England. He probably died 6 February, 1820 in Evershot, Dorset, England however others use a different record of an earlier death.

Sources: Robert Sprackling’s and Siblings Baptisms: Robert baptized 31 August, 1748 in Cattistock, Dorset, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812, Dorset History Center; Dorset Parish Registers; Reference: PE/CAT: RE 1/2.

1748 Aug 31, Robert son of Simon Sprackling & Anne his wife
another page of the register. 

Source:  Robert Sprackling’s Death and Burial in Dorset, Dorset England Deaths and Burials 1813-2010 – 6 Feb. 1820 Evershot Dorset England. Dorset History Centre; Dorset Parish Registers; Reference: PE/EVT Dorset Parish Registers. Dorchester, England: Dorset History Centre.

1820, Feb 6, Robert Spracklen age 72 death
1820, Feb 6 Robt Spracklen age 72 burial

This death of 1820 is very interesting, Peter and Betty Spracklin left for the US in 1823 and I have always wondered why Peter waited.  John, the son came over in 1817 which is six years earlier.  Of course, if a will or estate could be found that might determine if the 1820 death is correct?

Peter’s mother was Sarah Langfield baptized 24 June, 1748 in Castleford, All Saints, West Yorkshire and who died 25 March, 1777 in Rampisham, Dorset, England. The marriage of Robert and Sarah took place on 5 May, 1773 in Long Sutton, Somerset, England.

Source: Baptism of Sarah Langfield, West Yorkshire, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1512-1812. Father John Langfield. West Yorkshire Archive Service; Wakefield, Yorkshire, England; Yorkshire Parish Records; Old Reference Number: D147/1/2; New Reference Number: WDP147/1/2 Yorkshire Parish Records. Leeds, England: West Yorkshire Archive Service.

June 24, Sarah D. of John Langfield of Castelford.

Source: Marriage of Robert Sprackling & Sarah Langfield, parents of Peter Spracklin, 05 May 1773, Long Sutton, Somersetshire, England. Church of England, Parish Church of Long Sutton (Somersetshire). Phillimore Vol 1, pg 107-134, (1898) FHL#0563315 Item 3. Published Marriages or Bishop’s Transcripts for Long Sutton #1470871 Items 18-21.

1773 Robert Spraklen & Sarah Langfield by License, May ye 5th

Sarah Sprackling's burial and son John's

Sarah Sprackling’s burial and son John’s

Source:  Burial of Sarah Sprackling and John Sprackling, Rampisham, Dorsetshire, England, FHL#1239226 Items 1-3, Burials 1777, Bishop Transcripts. Church of England, Parish Church of Rampisham, Dorsetshire, England.

Mar 25, Sarah Spracklin, Aug 18, John Sprackling (son).

The towns of Wraxall, Cattistock and Rampisham are between Beamenster and Cerne Abbas in the middle western part of Dorset.  They are all about 2.5 miles apart. Dorset is south of Somerset.

Dorsetshire 1830

Dorsetshire 1830

Robert and Sarah (Langfield) Sprackling’s children were:

  1. Peter Spracklin – our line.
  2. John Spracklin who was baptized 23 December 1775 in Rampisham and died 18 August 1777 in Rampisham.  See burial of Sarah Spracklin above.
  3. May a sister named Mary Spracklin possibly.
Peter Spracklin and brother John's baptisms

Peter Spracklin and brother John’s baptisms

Source: Baptisms of the children of Robert Sprackling and Sarah Sprackling, Peter and John Sprackling, Dorset History Centre; Dorset Parish Registers; Reference: PE/RAM:RE1/4

1775 Jan 23, Peter son of Robert & Sarah Sprackling
1775 Dec 23, John Son of Robert & Sarah Sprackling

Source:  Baptism of Peter Spracklin, Rampisham, Dorset, England 23 Jan 1775, FHL#1239226 Items 1-3m Church of England, Parish Church of Rampisham (Dorsetshire), Bishop’s Transcripts An extract from Rampisham Register for Baptisms 1775:

Jan 23, Peter son of Robert & Sarah Sprackling.
Dec 23 John son of Robert & Sarah Sprackling

Robert’s parents (Peter’s grandparents) were Simon Sprackling and Anne.

Simon was baptized 15 April, 1711 in Wraxall, Dorset, England. He died 23 December, 1776 in Metford, Cattistock, England and was buried on the 28th of December, 1776 at St. Peter & St. Paul, Cattistock, Dorset, England. He was a yeoman, dairy farmer and cider maker.

Anne may have died 13 March, 1769 in Cattistock.

Source:  Simon Sprackling Baptism, 15 Apr 1711 Wraxall, Dorset, England, Father Simon, mother Mary. Dorset England Baptism, Marriages, Burials 1538-1812.

Simon and Anne Sprackling’s children:

  1. James Sprackling baptized 18 May, 1746 in Cattistock, Dorset and may have died 5 November, 1761 in Cattistock.
  2. Robert Sprackling father of Peter – see above.
  3. Peter Sprackling baptized 20 February, 1853 in Cattistock.

Sources: Robert Sprackling and Siblings Baptisms: Robert baptized 31 August, 1748 in Cattistock, Dorset, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812, Dorset History Center; Dorset Parish Registers; Reference: PE/CAT: RE 1/2.

1746 May 10, James son of Simon Sprackling & Anne his wife
1748 Aug 31, Robert son of Simon Sprackling & Anne his wife
1753 Feb 20, Peter son of Simon Sprackling & Annie his wife

There may have been more children:   Anne born 1736, Simon 1742 and died 1780, Sarah b 1744, Mary born 1756 and died 1756. I have not been able to pin these down yet.

Simon’s father was also a Simon Sprackling and he married Mary. This Simon was baptized 22 May, 1687, St. Mary’s Church, Wraxall, Dorset, England. He died 2 December, 1756 St. Peter & St. Paul, Cattistock, Dorset, England. Mary was born about 1683 and died in Cattistock.

Simon and Mary Sprackling had the following children:

  1. Simon – see above
  2. Richard Sprackling was baptized 19 April, 1713 in Wraxall, Dorset, England. He married on 2 April, 1733 to Martha Cox. Their children were:
    1. Elizabeth m. Thomas How 10 May, 1758
    2. Hanna m. 1 February, 1762 in Cattistock, Dorset England to James Rolles.
    3. Sarah m. 22 April, 1765 in Cattistock to Henry Guppy
    4. William was b. after 1733 and he married Anne Bishop on 24 November, 1753 in Cattistock, they had John bp. 3 November, 1754 in Cattistock and Joseph bp. 22 May, 1759 in Cattistock.
    5. Anne Spracklin bp. 28 October, 1746 in Cattistock, Dorset, England
  3. Robert Sprackling bp. 31 October, 1715 in Cattistock.
  4. Elizabeth Sprackling bp. 3 February, 1717 in Wraxall, Dorset, England
  5. Thomas Sprackling bp. 3 August, 1718 in Wraxall
  6. Mary Sprackling bp. 28 April, 1721 in Wraxall
  7. Jn Spracklin married a Sarah Homer on 15 January, 1745 in Wraxall. A possible son of Simon and Mary.

Source:  Baptisms and Deaths of the children of Simon and Mary Sprackling, Early 1700’s, parish of Wraxall, Dorset, England PE/WRX:RE1/1 Wraxall, PE/CAT:RE 1/2 Cattistock, Dorset Parish Registers, Dorchester, England, Dorset History Centre. 

Simon Spracklin baptized, April 1711, son of Simon and Mary Sprackling
1712 Richard son of Simon and Mary Sprackling
1715 Oct. 31 Robert son of Simon and Mary Sprackling
1716 Feb 3 Elizabeth daughter of Simon and Mary Spracklin
1718, Aug. 3 Thomas son of Simon and Mary Sprackling
1721 Apr 28 Mary daughter of Simon and Mary Sprackling death 2 Dec 1756 in Cattistock, Dorset.

Simon Sprackling’s father was Richard Sprackling born about 1660 in Dorset and may have died 24 April, 1709 in Wraxall, Dorset, England. He married on 4 February, 1684 in Wraxall, Dorset, England to Joan Diffee born 12 March, 1644 St. Bartholomew’s, Frampton, Dorset, England. Joan’s name is spelled many different ways:  Joane Diffey, Joane Distee.

Source:  Marriage of Richard Sprackling to Joane Diffey, 4 February 1684 Wraxall, Dorset, England, Dorset Parish Registers, Dorchester, England, Dorset History Centre, Ref. PE/WRX:RE1/1. 

Source: Burial of Richard Sprackling, 24 April, 1709 in Wraxall, Dorset, England. Dorset, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812, Richard Sprackling was bury on April 24, 1709 in woolen only Aft a vit mad by Eliz Sprackling…hard to read.  

Richard’s father may have been Richard Sprackling who died 25 October, 1685 mother unknown. Then came Simon Sprackling who died 1625 in Wraxall, Dorset, England, mother unknown.


Please be advised that not every vital record has a record attached.  I did most of this searching at, Find My Past and FamilySearch. Some have the actual records, some have only indexes.  I did make copies of the parish records as best I could and they are not easy to read.  In some instances I did go online to parish records in England but more in a poking around manner.  I do not belong to any websites at this time.  That will probably change in time.

Trying to read actual parish registers is very difficult depending on the quality of the film. Some examples of the handwriting are good, while others are messy and in some sort of code with blotches and scribbles.

There are several areas to target in finding a parish register: online parish indexes, the films at Family History Library for a parish, Bishop’s transcripts, published works like Phillimore and more. I am learning about how to do English Research and took the British Institute Course on pre-1850 English Records in 2013 in Salt Lake City.  It was very good.

There are also many trees about the Spracklins at Ancestry and other sites and I have taken a look at them to see what they suggested.  You can study them as well.  Over the years, I have collected information from cousins like emails, family trees, and actual research request letters to English locations. Once again please double check this information and feel free to leave a comment.

In the next post I will discuss Elizabeth Andrews Spracklin’s origins in England.

About BJ MacDonald

Interested in travel, really into genealogy and researching my family history, classic novels and movies, fantasy and science fiction, photography, history and more... Here is a tip. Make sure you are commenting on the blog you were visiting and the post you were interested in. My blogs are listed by hovering over my pictures and clicking. Clicking one of them will take you back to the correct blog. You can try me here:
This entry was posted in Cattistock, Daniel D. Spracklin & Elizabeth Keller, Diffee Diffey Distee surname, Dorset or Dorsetshire, ENGLAND, Evershot, FAMILY SURNAMES MAIN LINE SPRACKLIN or SPRACKLEN Surname, Hardin County, Helen Cox Tregillis ABC Chronicles, John Andrews Spracklin & Lydia Goss, John Keller & Mary Anne Delano, Kent County, Knox County, Langfield surname, Long Sutton, Ohio, Peter and Elizabeth (Betty) Spracklin, Pitney, Rampisham, Somerset or Somersetshire, Sprackling surname, TRIPS - Family History Library 2004 2006 2009 2010, 2013, 2014, West Yorkshire, Wine Rood and Anne Andrews Rood, Wraxall and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Peter Spracklin’s Origins in England…

  1. I’ve been to Long Sutton, Pitney, Rampisham, Cattistock, and the Dorset archive two times. We dad a local historian show us around so we had a great time and didn’t get lost in the hedgerows between sites. I’ve also been to other villages where families that married into the Spracklin line lived. Feel free to email me for photos of churches, etc. Signed, Cousin Jean

    • BJ MacDonald says:

      Hi Jean, I know you have been to the area but was not certain if it had been twice. I am saving my pennies and will be going hopefully in 2017. I have so many ancestors not just the Spracklins and Andrews from England, Ireland and Scotland that it will be difficult to plan and I might have to do two trips because I don’t want to miss anything. HA. A local historian is a great idea. I would love to have a few nice photos to put as a header photo on my blog at the top. They have to be long and rectangular more like a scenic. I will email you about it. Thanks for stopping by. Cousin Bonnie

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