The Spyers surname comes from the Old English word "spere," meaning "spear." It may have originally been a nickname
for a tall skinny person, or perhaps for a hunter skilled at using the spear. Alternatively, the could have been used for a "watchman or lookout man." CITATION[CLOSE]
Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6) CITATION[CLOSE]
Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
Another source notes: "Spere, to ask, to inquire; a word used formerly in Scotland and the north of Ireland." CITATION[CLOSE]
Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
Early Origins of the Spyers family
The surname Spyers was 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.
Further to the south in Yorkshire, the first record of the family was found in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 when Robertas Spyer was listed there at that time. CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
By the 16th century, Richard Spyre was listed as attending Oxford University in 1515; and George Speris was listed in Stirling, Scotland in 1548.
Early History of the Spyers family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Spyers research.Another 144 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1417, 1475, 1664, 1626 and are included under the topic Early Spyers History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Spyers Spelling Variations
of this family name include: Speir, Spier, Spears, Speirs, Spiers, Speer, Speers, Spere, Speres, Spire, Spires, Speyer, Speier, Speery and many more.
Early Notables of the Spyers family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Spyers Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Spyers family to Ireland
Some of the Spyers family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 212 words (15 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Spyers family to the New World and Oceana
Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Stephen Spear who settled in Virginia in 1685; Robert Speare settled in Virginia in 1653; James Spears settled in New England
in 1761; Alexander Speir settled in Wilmington N.C. in 1774.