Espaine History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Espaine family

The surname Espaine 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 Espaine family

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

Espaine Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Espaigne, Espayne, Espain, Espaine, Espinay, Espineto, Espiney, Epinay, Spineto, Espagne, Lespagnol, Lespagnou, Lespagneau, Lespagnol, Lepagneux and many more.

Early Notables of the Espaine 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 Espaine Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Espaine family

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Espaine or a variant listed above: 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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