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


The Speer 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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The surname Speer was first found in Renfrewshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Rinn Frił), 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.

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


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

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

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Some of the Speer 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:

Speer Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • John Speer, who landed in Maryland in 1665

Speer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Andrew Speer, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1812
  • Moses Speer, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812
  • James Speer, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812
  • John Michael Speer, who arrived in America in 1832
  • Thomas Speer, who arrived in Texas in 1835


Speer Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Mary A. Speer, aged 27, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Nashwauk"
  • William Speer, aged 25, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1859 aboard the ship "North"
  • Elizabeth Speer, aged 18, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1859 aboard the ship "North"
  • Elizabeth Speer, aged 51, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1860 aboard the ship "Ramillies"
  • Jane Speer, aged 21, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1860 aboard the ship "Ramillies"

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  • Floyd Vernie Speer (1913-1969), American Major League Baseball pitcher who played from 1943 to 1944 for the Chicago White Sox
  • Sergeant First Class Christopher Christopher James Speer (1973-2002), U.S. Army combat medic and an member of a special operations team who was fatally wounded during a skirmish in Afghanistan on July 27, 2002
  • Emory Speer (1848-1918), American politician, soldier and lawyer, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1878 to 1882
  • Thomas Jefferson Speer (1837-1872), U.S. Representative from Georgia
  • Robert Elliott Speer (1867-1947), American religious leader and authority on missions
  • Robert Milton Speer (1838-1890), American member of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Dieter Speer (b. 1942), German gold and three-time bronze medalist biathlete in the 1970s
  • Francis William "Bill" Speer (1942-1989), Canadian professional WHA and NHL ice hockey player who played 265 games
  • Hugo Speer (b. 1969), English actor, best known for his role as Captain Treville in The Musketeers (2014)
  • Stewie Speer (1928-1986), Australian drummer

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  1. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  2. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  3. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  4. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  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. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. 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. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  11. ...

The Speer Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Speer 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 19 June 2015 at 21:13.

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