I have just been trawling through the Spel(l)man messages because my grandmother's maiden name was Spelman. The story about the street name in the East End of London is also part of my family's verbal history, which, if these branches are not connected, is a little odd to say the least. I have hit a brick wall with my Spel(l)man ancestors. The earliest information I have is that my great-great grandfather Thomas was born in Bethnal Green in Middlesex (London) in 1823. His father's name was John and they were ropemakers. It seems that Thomas fell out with the family because in 1849 he was living in Chatham Kent where he had a daughter Susannah by Eliza Ann (Churcher/Brewington/Honeyman -don't ask) who was about 16 at the time. they didn't marry until 1860. They had a further ninesurviving children between 1859 and 1877. Does anybody have any information about John in Bethnal Green?