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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. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  6. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  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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