Espain History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Espain family

The surname E Spain was first found in Somerset where Alfred d'Espagne was a great Norman Baron, brother of Roger Toeni, from Eespagne, Pont Audemer who was granted twenty lordships in Somerset. [1] The parish of Willingale- Spain "derives the adjunct to its name from the family of Hervey de Spain, to whom it belonged at the time of the Norman survey." [2]

The name denotes "one who came from Spain, or who returned after having resided in Spain." [3]

Exploring the Norman influence more, records there show, " De l'Espagne, from Espagne, near Pont-Audemer, Normandy, a baronial name. Walter de Hispania is mentioned 1080; and his sons Hervey and Alured de Ispania occur 1086 in England (Domesd.). The latter was a great Baron. From the former descended the Spains of Essex, who long continued to flourish." [1]

The name "may have had several distinct origins, from as many early settlers. The Essex family of Hispaine, or Spayne, were descendants of Alured Hispaniensis, or De Ispania, who at the Domesday Survey was a tenant in chief in various counties. " [4]

"Brismar [in Buckland parish, Devon] had also held, and William had succeeded to, the adjacent manors of Bickleigh and Sampford, now Sampford Spiney. The added name, in this latter case, is said to have been derived from its possession by the family of Spinet or De Spineto; but as the neighbouring parish of Shaugh takes its title from the Saxon sceacga, 'rough coppice,' it is quite as probable that the Spiney here may be simply the allied word spinney. " [5]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: Michael de Ispania, Oxfordshire; John de Ispania, Huntingdonshire; and William de Spayne, Salop while the Yorkshire Poll Tax Roills of 1379 listed Willelmus del Spayn; and John de Spayn. [6]

In Scotland, the name denotes, "a native of Spain. It may also be a descriptive name given to a Scot who had returned from a residence in Spain. Walterus nepos Willelmi de Spaine witnessed a charter of three acres of Karruderes (Carruthers) by Walter del Bois, II. d. (Raine, 166). William Spayne, servant to the king and queen of Scotland, 1424, is doubtless the William Spaigne of Scotland who had a safe conduct into England in 1426." [7]

Early History of the Espain family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Espain research. Another 38 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1591, 1659, 1591 and 1620 are included under the topic Early Espain History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Espain Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Espaigne, Espayne, Espain, Espaine, Espinay, Espineto, Espiney, Epinay, Spineto, Espagne, Lespagnol, Lespagnou, Lespagneau, Lespagnol, Lepagneux and many more.

Early Notables of the Espain family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Jean D'Espagne (1591-1659), French Protestant pastor and theologian, born in 1591 in the Dauphiné and was pastor at...
Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Espain Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the E Spain family

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Espain name or one of its variants: bearers of the name who came to North America from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..



  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  4. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  5. ^ Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  6. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. ^ 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)


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