Smollen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Smollen is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest brought to England in 1066. The Smollen family lived in Norfolk where "this surname is derived from the name of an ancestor, 'the son of Spileman.' " [1] However, another source claims the name was derived from "a learned man but more probably either a man who works by spells, or turns, with another, or a worker of spells or charms. " [2] And yet another source claims that the name was for a "preacher or orator; one who entertained by stories, songs, buffoonery or juggling. " [3]

Early Origins of the Smollen family

The surname Smollen was first found in Norfolk but by the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, the name was scattered throughout ancient Britain: John Speleman, Nottinghamshire; William Spelesman, Wiltshire; and Eustace Spileman, Oxfordshire. "There are nine entries of Spileman in the Hundred Rolls, representing five counties. " [1]

Kirby's Quest notes John Speleman and Roger Spileman in Somerset, 1 Edward III (during the first year of Edward III's reign.) [4]

Early History of the Smollen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Smollen research. Another 100 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1214, 1495, 1544, 1495, 1491, 1562, 1641, 1581, 1495, 1544, 1594, 1643, 1598, 1679, 1594, 1643, 1626, 1588, 1606, 1663, 1645, 1648 and 1660 are included under the topic Early Smollen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Smollen Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Smollen are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Smollen include Speelman, Spellman, Spelman, Spilman, Spillman, Spillane, O'Spillane, Spilane, Spallon, Spollin, Splaine and many more.

Early Notables of the Smollen family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John Spelman (1495?-1544), English judge of the King's Bench, born about 1495, was son of Henry Spelman, recorder of Norwich in 1491. "The Spelman family were of ancient descent, being sprung from Hampshire, where in the time of Henry III they held the manor of Brockenhurst; in the fourteenth century they appear to have settled in Norfolk, where they held the manor of Bekerton in the fifteenth century. " [5] Sir Henry Spelman (c.1562-1641) was an English antiquary from Congham, Norfolk, the eldest son of Henry Spelman (d. 1581), of Congham, and the...
Another 119 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Smollen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Smollen family to Ireland

Some of the Smollen family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Smollen migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Smollen, or a variant listed above:

Smollen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Smollen, aged 26, who landed in New York in 1812 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Smollen (post 1700) +

  • Clara C. Smollen, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1972 [7]


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  4. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  5. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 2) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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