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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


The Spears surname comes from the Old English word "spere," meaning "spear." It may have orginally been a nickname for a tall skinny person, or perhaps for a hunter skilled at using the spear.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Speir, Spier, Spears, Speirs, Spiers, Speer, Speers, Spere, Speres, Spire, Spires, Speyer, Speier, Speery and many more.

First found in Renfrewshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Rinn Friù), a historic county of Scotland, today encompassing the Council Areas of Renfrew, East Renfrewshire, and Iverclyde, in the Strathclyde region of southwestern Scotland, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Spears research. Another 157 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1417, 1475, 1626, and 1664 are included under the topic Early Spears History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Spears Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Spears family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 261 words (19 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:

Spears Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • James Spears, who landed in America in 1760-1763
  • James Spears settled in New England in 1761

Spears Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Samuel Spears, who landed in America in 1810
  • William Spears, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1824
  • Alexander Spears, who landed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania in 1838
  • Allen Spears, who arrived in Somerset County, Pennsylvania in 1838
  • John Spears, who landed in Arkansas in 1855


Spears Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • James Spears, aged 47, who landed in America from Belfast, Ireland, in 1904
  • James Spears, aged 5, who emigrated to the United States from Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1910
  • Elizabeth Spears, aged 11, who emigrated to the United States from Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1910
  • Annie Spears, aged 38, who settled in America from Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1910
  • Charles Spears, aged 25, who emigrated to the United States from Anfield Plain, England, in 1910


Spears Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century


  • George Spears, aged 23, who emigrated to Halifax, Canada, in 1908
  • Alexander Spears, aged 52, who emigrated to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, in 1910
  • Gladys Spears, aged 24, who settled in Montreal, Canada, in 1920
  • John Spears, aged 39, who emigrated to Toronto, Canada, in 1922
  • Ethel Spears, aged 35, who emigrated to Toronto, Canada, in 1922

Spears Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Gregory Spears, aged 20, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Navarino"
  • William Spears, aged 32, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Bucephalus"

Spears Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Spears landed in Epsom, Auckland, New Zealand in 1843

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  • Bryan Spears (b. 1977), American film and television producer
  • Lynne Irene Spears (b. 1955), née Bridges, an American author and mother of Bryan Spears, Britney Spears, and Jamie Lynn Spears
  • The Right Reverend Robert Rae Spears Jr. (1918-2008), American Christian clergyman, former Episcopal Bishop of Rochester, New York
  • Jamie Lynn Spears (b. 1991), American actress, singer, and the younger sister of pop singer Britney Spears
  • Marcus Spears (b. 1983), American former NFL football defensive end who played from 2005 to 2013
  • Marcus Spears (b. 1971), American former NFL football offensive tackle who played from 1994 to 2004
  • Warren Spears (1954-2005), American dancer and choreographer
  • Ken Spears (b. 1942), American TV writer and animator
  • Tim Spears, English rugby league player for the Featherstone Rovers
  • Robert "Bob" Spears (1893-1950), Australian cyclist, posthumously inducted to the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985

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  • The Families of Ruebsman, Spear, et al by Neil N. Ruebsamen.
  • John E. and Noah Spears in Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, Texas & Oklahama by L.K. Gillespie.
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  1. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  2. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  3. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  4. 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).
  5. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  8. 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.
  9. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  11. ...

The Spears Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Spears 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 2 April 2016 at 19:22.

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