John Sperry, Sr.
  b: ~1540 - Thurleigh Par., Bedfordshire, England
  d: ~1613 - Thurleigh Par., Bedfordshire, England

Spouse: Agnes Rawlins
 m: 19/May/1562 - Thurleigh Par., Bedfordshire, England

Child-1: John - bp: 20/Mar/1563(1564) - Thurleigh Par., Bedfordshire, England
          2: Judith - bp: 13/Mar/1564(1565) - Thurleigh Par., Bedfordshire, England
          3: John, Jr.
          4: Thomas - bp: 12/Feb/1569(1570) - Thurleigh Par., Bedfordshire, England
          5: Robert - bp: 11/Dec/1570 - Thurleigh Par., Bedfordshire, England
          6: Walter - bp: 29/May/1575 - Thurleigh Par., Bedfordshire, England

Biographical Details:

The origin of the surname "Sperry" is obscure.1  It seems to have been known in England in some form since the fifteenth century.  However, further confusion arises because "Sperry" has been used by later immigrants to the United States as an anglicization of Germanic as well as other ethnic European surnames.  Therefore, although the name is only moderately common at present, it probably has no unique source.  Accordingly, individuals bearing the surname cannot be uncritically assumed to have the same national origin.

It is thought that the earliest known ancestor of the Sperry family of colonial Connecticut was John Sperry, Sr., who was born in Thurleigh Parish, Bedfordshire, England, about the year 1540.  His parentage is not known, but in all probability he descended from yeoman farmers who had lived in this locality for many preceding centuries.  Moreover, the parish register reveals that John Sperry and Agnes Rawlins were married on May 19, 1562.2  Accordingly, six children have been attributed to them including two sons named John.  As commonly the case, this implies that the older of the two did not survive, but died before the younger John was born.  It is believed that John Sperry, Sr., died before 1613, but no significant details are known.

Source Notes and Citations:
1. Patrick Hanks (ed.), Oxford Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, periodically updated.
     "English (Leicestershire): unexplained."
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2. Harrison Spencer Sperry, That Great Sperry Family: the genealogy of the Sperry brothers by families and generations, Hawkes Pub., Salt Lake City, UT, 1977.
      This book includes a transcription of the parish register of Thurleigh, Bedfordshire, England, in which there appeared a record of a marriage between John Sperry and Agnes Rawlins on 19 May 1562.  Subsequently, baptisms of six of their children were also recorded, viz., John, on 20 Mar 1563/4 (probably died young); Judith, on 12 Mar 1564/5; John, on 18 Jan 1567/8; Thomas, on 12 Feb 1569/70; Robert, on 11 Dec 1570; and Walter, on 29 May 1575.  (Marva Rydalch; database - dcsvdata;, 2003.)
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Additional Citations:

3. Ancestral File: KCVP-28, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, UT, continuously updated.

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