Spain History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Spain family

The surname 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 Spain family

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

Spain Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. 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 Spain 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 Spain Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Spain Ranking

In the United States, the name Spain is the 2,281st most popular surname with an estimated 12,435 people with that name. [8]


United States Spain migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Spain or a variant listed above:

Spain Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Augustus Spain, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1740 [9]
  • Francis Spain, who landed in Mississippi in 1799 [9]
Spain Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Biddy Spain, aged 30, who landed in New York, NY in 1824 [9]
  • Randolph D Spain, who arrived in Texas in 1835 [9]

Australia Spain migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Spain Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Spain, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Trafalgar" in 1847 [10]
  • Catherine Spain, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Trafalgar" in 1847 [10]
  • Ann Spain, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Trafalgar" in 1847 [10]
  • Edward Spain, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Trafalgar" in 1847 [10]
  • Martin Spain, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Trafalgar" in 1847 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Spain migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Spain Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr Spain, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship George Fife
  • William Spain, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841 aboard the ship Antilla
  • James Spain, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Whitby" in 1841
  • Mr. Spain, British settler travelling from Cape of Good Hope, South Africa aboard the ship "Antilla" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 8th December 1841, listed as Commissioner of Claims of Land [11]
  • Mrs. Spain, British settler travelling from Cape of Good Hope, South Africa aboard the ship "Antilla" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 8th December 1841 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Spain (post 1700) +

  • William J. Spain, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Waterbury, 1904 [12]
  • Whitfield W. Spain, American politician, Mayor of Bozeman, Montana, 1934-35 [12]
  • Thomas B. Spain, American politician, Justice of Kentucky State Supreme Court 1st District; Elected 1990 [12]
  • P. A. Spain, American politician, Representative from Texas at-large, 1932 [12]
  • James William Spain (1926-2008), American politician, U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania, 1975-79; Turkey, 1980-81; Sri Lanka, 1985-89; Maldive Islands, 1985-89 [12]
  • Spain Musgrove (b. 1945), American NFL football defensive tackle who played from 1967 to 1970


  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)
  8. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  9. ^ 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)
  10. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) TRAFALGAR 1847. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1847Trafalgar.htm
  11. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  12. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 23) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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