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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, Scottish

Where did the Scottish Spenceley family come from? What is the Scottish Spenceley family crest and coat of arms? When did the Spenceley family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Spenceley family history?

The Spenceley surname derives from the Old French word "despense," from the Latin "dispendere" meaning "to dispense;" as such, it is thought to have been an occupational surname for the custodian of the pantry or larder of a great house or monastery.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Spence, Spens, Spense, Spenceley, Spencley and many more.

First found in Fife where they held a family seat from very ancient times, and it is claimed by some that the family name is descended from the ancient and Royal House of the Earls of Fife. Early records show a John Spens, who was bailie of Irvine in 1260.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Spenceley research. Another 298 words(21 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1320, 1358, 1365, 1385, 1390, 1426, 1428, and 1628 are included under the topic Early Spenceley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 43 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Spenceley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Spenceley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 215 words(15 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Spenceley Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • John Spenceley, who sailed to Barbados in 1635
  • John Spenceley, aged 24, landed in Barbados in 1635

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  • George Spenceley, English photographer, mountaineer on the South Georgia Survey, 1955-56, eponym of Spenceley Glacier, Antarctica
  • Alfred Spenceley (b. 1890), English Amateur Boxing Association of England lightweight champion in 1911


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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Patior ut potior
Motto Translation: I endure as I enjoy

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  1. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  2. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  3. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  6. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  7. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  8. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  11. ...

The Spenceley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Spenceley Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 16 March 2010 at 08:09.

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